Odhikar Annual Report: 391 extrajudicial killings in 2019 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 12, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:57 AM, February 12, 2020

Odhikar Annual Report: 391 extrajudicial killings in 2019

As many as 391 people fell victim to extrajudicial killings in 2019, according to a report by rights organisation Odhikar.

Of the victims, 376 were killed in "crossfires or encounters or gunfights", six were allegedly tortured to death by law enforcers, eight were shot to death and one was beaten to death by police, said Odhikar's Annual Human Rights Report 2019. Of them, at least 183 were killed in the nationwide anti-drug operations, it added.

In 2018, the number of extrajudicial killings was 466, when law enforcers started the "war against drugs".

Odhikar summarised that a total of 34 people became victims of enforced disappearance last year. Of them, eight were found dead, 17 returned alive and whereabouts of the remaining nine is still unknown.

The report also said 56 people were lynched in 2019.One of the incidents -- that sparked public outcry -- was when housewife Taslima Begum was killed in a mob beating on July 20, 2019 after she was suspected of being a child kidnapper, when she went to North Badda Primary School in Dhaka to inquire about their admission process.

Odhikar observed that such incidents took place due to a lack of confidence in the justice system, a culture of impunity, mistrust in law enforcement agencies, lack of implementation of laws and social unrest.

The report said 102 journalists were injured, harassed, threatened and sued in 2019. The number was 126 in 2018.

It said a total of 1,080 women, including 330 adults and 737 children, were raped last year.

Last year, the report said the country witnessed killing of 41 Bangladeshi nationals along the India-Bangladesh border. The number was 11 in 2018.

'NHRC A FAILED INSTITUTION'

About the National Human Rights Commission, the rights watchdog said the rules for formation of NHRC are not satisfactory as they have failed to ensure an independent commission. It also alleged that the Awami League government formed the commission led by people loyal to it and turned the commission into a subservient institution.

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