• Saturday, November 01, 2014

Forced Disappearances

No option of legal remedy

Hong Kong-based group writes to UN about Bangladesh

Unb, Dhaka

Reiterating that the victims of forced disappearances here have no option of legal remedy, Hong Kong-based Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) has made written submissions to the UN Human Rights Council on the prevalence of the incidents in Bangladesh.

The prevailing condition of repression and impunity contributes to the further weakening of criminal justice institutions, said the independent regional NGO, which is holding general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is a sister organisation of the Asian Human Rights Commission.

The group urged the UN council to hold Bangladesh accountable for its failure to provide remedies to victims and families of victims of forced disappearance. “Basic institutions on criminal justice need reform so that the rule of law can make its entry into the jurisdiction of Bangladesh,” it said.

The families of victims are denied access to the complaint mechanism whenever allegations are brought against the agents of the state; police refuse to register such complaints, said ALRC.

The few families that are not dissuaded are forced to modify their complaints by removing the names of the law enforcement agents from the list of the alleged perpetrators, it said. The complaints are registered only when the complainants bring allegations against "unidentified persons", which makes the case, one of a "missing person", rather than a case of enforced disappearance, it added.

As a result, seeking justice for the disappeared victims is impossible at the stage of registration of the complaint itself, never mind the dream of credible investigation or prosecution, said ALRC.

 

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, August 30, 2014

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