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Extrajudicial killings

HRW urges govt to hold fair probe

By UNB, DHAKA
29th-Jan-2014       
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New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Bangladesh government to authorise an independent investigation into a recent spate of alleged extrajudicial killings by security forces."The government should publicly order law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of all those taken into custody," the global rights body said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.Joint Forces consisting of the Bangladesh Police, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and the Border Guards Bangladesh continue to arrest opposition supporters, some of whom are accused of involvement in violent protests before and during the January 5, elections which were boycotted by opposition parties.Security forces claim that the deaths after arrest occurred during 'crossfire', which Human Rights Watch has previously documented is used by security forces as a common euphemism to describe what they claim to be shootouts, but which in reality appears to be the killing of people already in detention."We are seeing a frightening pattern of supposed 'crossfire' killings of opposition members in Bangladesh," said Brad Adams, Asia director."The Bangladeshi government needs to ensure proper control of the security forces and order an independent and credible investigation into these deaths," he said.Human Rights Watch called on the government to publicly order the security forces to follow the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which state that security forces shall "apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.""The situation in Bangladesh is spiraling into a human rights crisis, with the possible return of suspicious killings by security forces, which we haven't seen in recent years," Adams said.

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