Enforced Disappearances: 92 taken last year: human rights report
12:00 AM, September 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:41 AM, September 29, 2019

Enforced Disappearances: 92 taken last year: report

23 still missing

At least 92 people became victims of enforced disappearances last year and 23 of them are still missing, says a new human rights report.

Besides, 429 people were killed in so called crossfire or gunfights involving, in most cases, law enforcers, it says.

Moreover, police reportedly tortured seven people to death, shot five dead, and 33 others died in their custody, it adds.

Human Rights in Bangladesh: Annual Bulletin 2018 was launched yesterday by the Human Rights Support Society at an auditorium of the Department of Agricultural Extension in the capital.

The study is based on reports published in 12 national dailies and information gathered by HRSS representatives in districts towns.

It cannot be said the overall rights situation has improved this year, said Nur Khan, veteran rights activist and an advisor to the report’s editorial board.

“Enforced disappearances and ‘crossfires’ continue to take place,” he told The Daily Star, adding that the lack of accountability was particularly concerning.

Of the 92 victims of enforced disappearances mentioned in the report, 14 were found dead, 17 returned home, and 38 produced before courts after they went missing.

Bullet-riddled bodies of several political activists were found at different places after they disappeared, it says.

In most cases of “crossfires” or “gunfights”, people were killed during law enforcers’ operations or raids.

Of the victims, 251 were killed in encounters with police, 132 with Rab, 44 with DB, and two others with Border Guard Bangladesh, it adds.

“The government description of these incidents follows roughly the same pattern,” it says.

Last year, at least 83 people were killed in political violence.

In violence centring the election, at least 50 people were killed while 44 died in mob beatings.

Two journalists were killed, 136 injured, 27 threatened, nine arrested, and 22 assaulted in 113 incidents last year.

Fifty-five people were arrested under the Digital Security Act-2018 while 15 Bangladeshis were killed by Indian Border Security Force.

The HRSS found that 693 were raped, including 279 women and 414 children aged below 16; 235 women were killed due to family feuds and 44 over dowry.

A total of 291 people, including 34 women and 69 children were abducted. Of them, 144 were killed.

About 95 incidents of violence were committed against children; 43 of them were killed and 76 critically injured.

In different places, 988 bodies were recovered. Among them, 617 were male, 326 female and 45 remained unidentified.

At least 228 civilians were victims of violent attacks. Of them, 124 were killed, 88 seriously injured and 16 shot.

An estimated 38 attacks on minority communities took place last year, it says. 

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