bangladesh must end torture and illegal detentions ahead of elections
Bangladeshi authorities must end torture by members of the police Detective Branch ahead of the elections. General elections are scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in January 2024. However, Bangladesh police torture has been creating headlines. Recent allegations highlight claims of abuse by the police detective branch.
Human rights violations have increased in Bangladesh ahead of the 2024 election. Allegations of torture and ill-treatment by the security forces and police have increased in recent months.
Human rights abuses in Bangladesh
Earlier this year, Mohammad Rabiul Islam, a 38-year-old shopkeeper, died in police custody because of the intense torture. However, the police said that he had been hit by a truck.
According to Human Rights Watch, Mohammad Rabiul Islam was taken to Detective Branch headquarters every day, wherein he was tortured by the authorities.
Raghunath Kha, a journalist, was also tortured in Detective Branch custody in January. He told the media, “They put devices on both my ears and electrocuted me in phases for half an hour. They beat me on my feet with a stick.” However, police officers denied all the allegations.
Grave human rights abuses have been taking place in Bangladesh. Police officers in Bangladesh operate with impunity and zero accountability.
In June, a brutal incident took place in Bangladesh. Shahidul Islam, who advocated for human rights and workers’ rights throughout his career, was murdered by a group of men. Rights groups demanded a probe into the killing of a human rights activist in Bangladesh. The HRW also urged the Bangladesh authorities to take action against the murderers. However, the police officers did not take strict action.
Lisa Henry, Secretary General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), said, “Our members in Bangladesh tell us torture is on the rise as democracy and the rule of law are being undermined on a daily basis.”
In July, when a huge protest erupted in Bangladesh, demanding the prime minister’s resignation, police officers fired tear gas to disperse stone-throwing crowds. Police also arrested at least 500 opposition activists ahead of a rally. Subsequently, Amnesty International urged the Bangladeshi authorities to end the use of excessive force against protesters.
The upcoming election is crucial for Bangladeshis. Bangladesh should investigate allegations and hold perpetrators to account ahead of the election.