1 July 2018, Sun, 1:31

275 lost lives in custody, extrajudicial killings in 6 months: ASK

Some 275 people were killed in incidents of 'gunfight' and 'crossfire' with law enforcers, and in custody of law enforcement agencies, or being shot by law enforcers from 1 January to 30 June this year, said Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), according to UNB.

In its report published in recently, the rights body also said 427 women were raped across the country during the period and it urged the government to uphold and ensure human rights.

Meanwhile, on the border, three were killed in torture by Indian Border Security Force (BSF), nine were injured and eight were abducted, according to the report.

It said the overall human rights situation in Bangladesh remained at an alarming level in the first six months of 2018 due to a sharp rise in the cases of extrajudicial killings and custodial deaths. "The number of cases of rapes and sexual assaults on women also marked a rise."

The rights body prepared the report based on information published in national dailies in addition to its own findings.

Among the 275 victims of extrajudicial killings, 176 were killed in between 15 May and 30 June in 'gunfights' with law enforcers amid the anti-narcotics drive that began on 4 May, according to the ASK report.

So far, 66 people were killed in incidents of 'crossfire' with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), 141 with police, 31 with DB police, and one with Naval police, the report revealed.

A total of 18 bullet-hit bodies were recovered, while one reportedly committed suicide in prison and five died in police custody after falling sick during the period, the report added.

Also, 50 people, including 22 prisoners and 28 detainees, died in prisons during the last six months.

A total of 427 women were raped across the country during the period and 37 of them were killed after rape while three committed suicide, according to the report.

Also, 58 women fell victims to sexual assaults and three of them committed suicide, while rape attempts were made on 57 and one of them committed suicide later.

Besides, four men were killed while trying to protest at the incidents of sexual assaults and another 69 women and men became victims of assaults and repression during the period.

The report also revealed that 856 children became victims of killings, torture and repression across the country so far this year. Among them, 148 were killed, 58 committed suicides, the bodies of 61 were recovered, including eight after abduction, while one child died due to miscarriage after rape, and 15 others died mysteriously.

A total of 90 journalists fell victims to torture, assault, harassment and threats in addition to facing obstacles while performing their professional duties during the period, the report said.

It said the last six months also saw 24 people being killed in incidents of mob beating.