Extrajudicial killings

Extrajudicial killing is an arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life and simply a murder. Bangladesh has earned notoriety in carrying out extrajudicial killings. The rights to life and personal liberty are under threat in Bangladesh, despite the fact that they are guaranteed by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Article 32 says: “no person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty, save in accordance with law”. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted in 1966 and ratified by Bangladesh in 2000, “every human being has the inherent right to life”. The Covenant also says: ‘this right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”  Different terminologies have been used by the law enforcement agencies to distract from extrajudicial killings; such as, deaths during ‘cross-fire’, ‘encounter ‘, ‘gunfight’ etc.

After fact finding, Odhikar, in many cases, could not find any trace of counter shootings and it seems that a majority of the victims were shot dead by law enforcement agencies. Extrajudicial killings continue despite repeated assurance to stop this and the declaration of ‘zero’ tolerance on extrajudicial killings by the government during the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council.

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