April 13, 2022
DHAKA – The US State Department in its annual human rights report for 2021 stated that there were reports of widespread impunity for security force abuses and corruption in Bangladesh.
“The government took few measures to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption and abuse and killing by security forces,” said the “2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bangladesh”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken launched the global report tonight.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings; forced disappearance; torture or cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government or its agents on behalf of the government.
The rights issues also include harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrests or detentions; political prisoners; politically motivated reprisals against individuals in another country; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary and arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy.
Domestic human rights organization Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) reported at least 80 individuals died in extrajudicial killings during the year, including 51 in so-called shootouts or crossfires with law enforcement agencies.
Between May 2018 and June, ASK reported a total of 606 incidents of alleged extrajudicial executions.
According to another human rights organization, Odhikar, of 71 incidents of alleged extrajudicial killings between January and September 30, 35 deaths resulted from gunfights with law enforcement, 30 persons were shot by law enforcement, and six others died from alleged torture while in custody.
In 2020, Odhikar reported a total of 225 alleged extrajudicial executions, down from 391 incidents in 2019.
Human rights organizations and civil society expressed concern regarding the alleged extrajudicial killings and arrests, claiming many of the victims were innocent.