Monthly Archives: April 2011

No one can stop extra judicial killings in Bangladesh


EJK Report: No one can stop extra judicial killings in Bangladesh. Limon Hossen is a college student. He was continuing his study by hard work at a brick field. But now he is disabled. He can’t walk. Though, he is in the bad of Hospital, police confined him as a ‘bona-fide criminal’. Actually, Limon is an innocent who has victimized by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). After RAB shot a leg of his has been cutted. Who would be able to give justice to Limon Hossen, we don’t know?
Thousands people including Sumon, Tutul, Nirapod were killed by RAB and thousands including Pappu, Limon, journalist F M Masum were brutally tortured by RAB. But, RAB still doing inhuman activity. There is no right to life in Bangladesh. In spite of the Government didn’t banned RAB. Why? RAB should immediately abolished for human rights and for the rule of law.
To killing to torturing are their (RAB and the government) evils work. After every killing or torturing RAB and government says that, at the gunfight he or she has been killed or injured. There is no new. State and RAB also wanted to proved that the Euro Bangla Editor Jahangir Alam Akash is a ‘Yellow Journalist and Extortionist’. RAB also wanted to kill him. Because, he was disclosed their atrocities. He was protest against extra judicial killings in January of 2005.
Tikka Khan (35) is the latest victim of RAB. He was killed by RAB in Pabna on 26 April, 2011. How many blood, killings, torturing, game need of RAB and of the Government to stop this inhuman activity; we don’t know? People needs justice. Who will give it from Bangladesh? There is no justice. How could make justice by unjust system, government, society? RAB should be abolished or disbanded.

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RAB should be disbanded immediately


AHRC Report: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), a military-dominated paramilitary force composed of armed forces and the police, held two cousins incommunicado for four days. The victims have been identified as Mr. Nahidul Haque Sazib and Mr. Kawsar Hossain Razib, who were arrested without any specific charge on 5 and 6 April 2011 in the evening on two separate occasions respectively from their neighbourhood in the city of Dhaka. The torture perpetrated by the RAB included beating, nailing and electrocution while in detention. The two victims were also taken in the open air in the early hours to kill in the pretext of “crossfire”, which is the official form of extrajudicial killing the RAB is habituated of committing regularly since its inception. The victims were granted bail by the courts for their severe injuries as a result of torture. Like innumerous similar incidents there has been no credible investigation into this case let alone any prosecution or punishment of the RAB perpetrators who enjoy blatant impunity in Bangladesh.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Victim-1:
Mr. Nahidul Haque Sazib, aged 25, is a transport businessman, married with one child. His family lives in House No. 83/84 Hosseni Dalan Road, Chandkharpooll under the jurisdiction of the Lalbagh police station of the metropolitan city of Dhaka.

On the evening of 5 April, at around 9:30pm, Sazib, left his home to buy some groceries for the family. A team of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), who were in black uniforms at that time, stopped him near to his family’s transport business office at Chandkharpul area. One of them asked Sazib’s name and occupation and immediately after his replies to the questions the members of the RAB accused him to be a “snatcher”. All of a sudden the RAB personnel blindfolded and put a death-mask on Sazib’s head. They put him on a silver colour microbus, bearing registration number Dhaka Metro-Cha 11- 6732, which had “RANGS Limited” on the back of the vehicle. The car was driven to the RAB-10 camp adjacent to the Lalbagh Fort. Sazib was taken to the first floor of the camp. An officer asked his and his father’s name. As Sazib replied to the questions the officer told that, “I was looking for you!” The officer took a thick stick and started hitting Sazib’s legs. As a result of torture Sazib lost his consciousness. Then, a doctor, who is also an officer of the RAB, came to examine him. The doctor used a spray on his legs and gave him some medicine. Then, Sazib was given a juice pack to drink for which the death mask was taken off although the blindfold was still on his eyes. When the juice was drunk the death mask was put back as usual. Then, the toes of his legs were clipped with hasco tags electric wires that were plugged with the power outlet to electrocute him on several occasions in the night. They served him food with rice, potato-smash and spinach.

On 6 April at around 2:30pm, Sazib was informed that one of the superior officers came to the RAB-10 camp where he was detained. He was produced before that officer, who asked his colleagues about the reason of arresting Sazib. In response, one of the officers of the arresting team, told that the arrest was made on “suspicion” and “efforts are in progress to get the details”. Then the senior office told his junior colleagues, “OK, beat him more! Make your reports and then release (him)!” Thereafter, Sazib was transferred to another room on the same floor. In the evening, the doctor came again to examine and give medicine to Sazib.

In the early morning of 7 April, at around 3am, the RAB members took Sazib another room, about 25 steps away from the room where he was detained. They tortured him brutally for a long time using various tools in several methods. They pushed needle in Sazib’s fingers and rubbed a sharp metal to reduce the length of his fingernails. Then, they used a spray to hide the wounds of the fingers.

In the Lalbagh camp of the RAB-10 torture took place every night while four to five personnel of RAB sat on Sazib’s leg and beat the soles of his feet with blunt weapons. Apart from beatings and electrocution, they pushed sticks through the ear causing bleeding from the ears. They also pushed needle in his palms and the fingers underneath the fingernails. Later, they cut the nails and sprayed some chemical (colour) since then the wounds were normally invisible. Whenever Sazib asked what wrong he had done or what crime he had committed for which he had been tortured the RAB members did not answer to the questions but continued torturing him.

At around 2:30am, early in the morning on 8 April, around 3 persons came into the room where Sazib was detained. The new-comers brutally kicked him and pressed the calf muscle areas of his legs with boots. They also electrocuted him on several occasions. The torture went on for few hours until Sazib lost his consciousness.

On 8 April at night, an RAB personnel came to the dark room where Sazib was detained and asked him to complete his “wudu” (ablution) suggesting to reciting Surah Yasin and Surah Ar-Rahman (of the Holy Qur’aan) from two small pamphlets. Sazib followed the perpetrators’ instructions accordingly and recited the verses of the Qur’aan repeatedly. At around the midnight, they came to the room again and started beating him with thick sticks. They also electrocuted him. At around 1:30am, in the early morning on 9 April, they put Sazib and Razib together in a microbus and drove through Palashi to Eden College toward the New Market direction.

Victim-2:
Mr. Kawsar Hossain Razib, aged 24, has a petty business of plastic bottle in the old town of the city of Dhaka. Razib’s family lives in 9/3 Hosseni Dalan Road under the jurisdiction of the Lalbagh police station of the metropolitan city of Dhaka.

On 6 April 2011, at around 8pm, Razib came out of the local mosque, near to his house, after offering his evening prayer along with his father Mr. Awlad Hossain. On the street outside the home a team of plain-clothed members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) comprising around eight persons stopped him. They asked Razib to accompany them for “interrogation”. When Razib claimed that he was not involved in any type of criminal activities and asked why he should go with them, the members of the RAB told, “Keep your mouth shut!” Razib’s father Mr. Awlad Hossain and elder brother Ronny came asked the reason of picking up Razib, the RAB members opened their guns and threatened to kill Awlad and Ronny. Immediately, they blindfolded him with a black cloth and covered the head with a death-mask and then handcuffed him. They put Razib in a microbus bearing registration number Dhaka Metro-Cha 11- 6732, which seemed to be a private car, and left the place.

Razib was taken to the office of the RAB-10 adjacent to the Lalbagh Fort in the city of Dhaka. They kept Razib waiting for about an hour in his blindfolded condition. After that, he was taken to one of the senior officers of the RAB-10 in the office room in the same building where he was placed on a chair in a seated position putting the legs on another chair while the hands were handcuffed and tied behind his back and tortured with hockey-sticks on the soles of his feet. The RAB electrocuted him clipping two wires with the toes keeping him in the same position. After torturing him for about an hour he sent back to a room. He was served some leftover food, which was not edible. Around half an hour later, Razib was again brought to a room. He was trembling due to severe injuries in his legs due to torture just an hour ago. The RAB members asked “Why don’t you walk properly?” Razib replied that he had serious pain in his legs. Then, they told that “We will apply nix (ointment). Which leg do you feel more pain?” When Razib replied that he had pain in his right leg, the RAB started beating him with hockey-sticks again in his right leg. They pushed needles into his fingers and toes. As a result of severe beating and nailing when Razib was unable to stand on his own feet, the perpetrators asked him to “Stand up!” When Razib replied that he could not stand, the RAB personnel electrocuted him by connecting a metal having electric connection with his body, which made him jump from the floor due to electric shock, and then they ridiculed him by saying, “You lied that you cannot stand. See! You can jump too!” During torturing on several occasions in such brutal method the officers of the RAB-10 insisted him to confess according to instructions before the superior officers. When Razib claimed that he was innocent the RAB officers tortured him further and used abused language aim at his mother. Immediately, Razib protested and asked, “Why are you abusing my mother? What is mother’s offence here?” Then, they increased torture, which caused lacerations in his legs, back and hands. In order escape torture Razib agreed to deliver a confession to their superior officers in whatever manner they instructed him. Since the arrest and detention the RAB tortured Razib in their custody after intervals and detained him a dark room adjacent to the armory of the RAB-10.

On 7 April, Razib was put in a vehicle, which drove to another place, to place before a superior office who he could not see due to the blindfold and death-mask, which he had been wearing during the whole period of detention. Before taking to the superior officer the RAB members repeatedly insisted Razib to “confess” his crimes to the superior officer as instructed. The RAB threatened to kill both cousins together in “crossfire” when Razib claimed to be innocent. They also threatened to fabricate an arms case and murder case unless the instructed “confession” was not delivered to their senior officer. In order to escape further torture he agreed to say the instructed confession to the senior officer, who also tortured him in that office after he was introduced as a “snatcher”.

After the midnight of 8 April the RAB put Razib and Sazib, who happen to be cousins to each other, in a vehicle and drove toward the Azimpur area although the cousins did not know or see that they were in the same vehicle due to the blindfolds and death-masks. On board, the blindfolds and death-mask were taken off and both cousins saw each other in a similar condition – handcuffed, tortured and seriously injured – under the custody of the RAB. When Razib and Sazib hugged each other and cried out the RAB personnel tortured both of them again. During torture the RAB officers pushed a cloth into Razib’s mouth so that he could not cry for help. The car was driven toward various directions for a long time.

The RAB took Razib and Sazib in the open air on the bank of the Buriganga river at the Swari Ghat area of the city of Dhaka to kill them in “crossfire”, which is the officially publicized method of extrajudicial killing by the RAB, as being also followed by the Police and other agencies in Bangladesh. The RAB officers asked Razib and Sazib to run away. Both cousins did not follow that instruction as they were aware of the “crossfire” method, which is conducted when the detainees run following such instructions. Instead, both persons held the legs of the officers of the RAB, who put them in the vehicle again following repeated appeals for not to kill and drove back to its Lalbagh camp where they were detained for the whole day. In several occasions they tortured Razib and Sazib and said that smaller cases will be fabricated against them for which they (Razib and Sazib) would have to stay in prison only for two or three months.

Two night guards of the Azimpur Staff Quarters were brought to the vehicle and instructed by the RAB members to sign on a piece of paper. The RAB also asked the night guards to see the faces of Razib and Sazib as “snatchers” so that they can testify before the Courts when required. The two night guards followed the instructions accordingly while it was almost dawn. Then, one of the RAB officers told that “There was order to kill you. You might have done good deeds in your life. That’s why you are not being killed. You are going to be released in a normal case. Keep offering prayers; don’t tell the story (of torture and detention) to anyone; live a good life!” In response, when Sazib told that he used to live a good life keeping offering his prayers regularly and asked, “Why did you torture me?” After the question the RAB members abused him in filthy language and took him back to the RAB-10 Office while Razib was taken to the Mitford Hospital (Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital-SSMCH) for treatment.

At the RAB-10 Office Sazib was taken to a senior officer, who shouted at Sazib very rudely while torturing him brutally. The officer asked, “How dare you made the high-ranking persons like ministers and parliamentarians to call us? You show up your power! Let me show you my power now!” There several members of the RAB including the officer tortured him until around 11:30am in the morning. After torture Sazib was transferred to a room in the first floor next to the armory.

At around 2pm, Razib was brought back from the hospital where he was treated in his legs with first aid. The RAB officers warned Sazib and Razib to remain careful in future and not to tell the incident to anyone else in life. The RAB made a photo session pasting the names on the chests of the two cousins putting two knives that were kept on a table in their office. They introduced Razib and Sazib, wrongly writing the name as Mozib, as “snatchers” on the name tags. Two knives were kept on a table in front of Razib and Sazib at the time when the photos were taken by the RAB members.

At around 3pm, the RAB brought the two cousins to the Lalbagh police and handed over them to the police. Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) of the RAB-10, Md. Abu Bakor Siddik accompanied Razib and Sazib to the police station and asked the on duty officer to register a First Information Report (FIR) under Section 4(1) of the Law and Order Breaching Crimes (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Act-2010 with the Lalbagh police station. The Lalbagh police primarily argued with the RAB regarding inappropriateness of the provisions of the Law and Order Breaching Crimes (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Act-2010. The RAB personnel pursued the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the Lalbagh police and the Assistant Commissioner (AC) of the Lalbagh Zone for registering the complaint. They also insisted the police to show the two persons’ own cell phones and money as “snatched goods”, which the police refused to do. Finally, the police recorded the case as FIR no. 11 dated 9 April showing that it was recorded at 2:45pm.

In the complaint DAD Siddik claims that a plain-clothed team of six members of the RAB-10, including him and five other named colleagues, came under attack from a group of snatchers at 1:10am, in the early morning of 9 April 2011 near the Eden College area. Two persons were arrested while two others escaped from the scene. A 12-inch-long stainless steel knife and another locally-made-iron knife were seized from Razib and Sazib respectively with the help of the local night guards. Razib fell on the road while attempted to escape and received injuries.

The Lalbagh police did not torture Razib and Sazib in their custody while the two cousins were detained in the Lalbagh police station. They took Razib and Sazib to the Mitford Hospital (Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital-SSMCH) for treatment. Both were admitted to the Ward No. 101, Casualty Ward of the Mitford Hospital.

On 10 April, the police produced Razib and Sazib before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court under the snatching case after getting them discharged from the Mitford Hospital although the two cousins’ injuries remained unhealed. The Court observed that they were tortured as there were no specific statement regarding the injuries of the two cousins supported by the medical record, which mentioned that the victims had “Physical assault and generalized body assault”. The Magistrate granted bail to both persons on a bond of BDT 10,000.00 each with guarantee from the lawyers and local elites until the next hearing on 21 April.

Since the families of Razib and Sazib communicated with journalists and human rights defenders the RAB members have started intimidating the relatives on phone and in person. Plain clothed members of the RAB, who came to their houses and business offices, threatened to kill every one of the families if the case is discussed in public any further. The two families have been afraid of further similar or worse atrocities against the members of the families including the two victims while the government has not yet initiated any credible investigation into these heinous crimes.
Meanwhile, Razib and Sazib did not receive adequate medical treatment for the serious injuries they sustained while they were tortured in the custody of the RAB’s custody. After having been released on bail they are forced to hide for their lives and are still unable to arrange necessary treatment.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please urge the authorities of Bangladesh to launch a thorough investigation into the matter immediately asking them to prosecute the perpetrators for the crime beyond any impunity. The victims and their relatives must be protected from any further attacks or harassment by the Rapid Action Battalion or the police. Adequate compensation should be afforded to the victim. The fabricated case, which has already registered against Razib and Sazib by the RAB must be dropped. The RAB should be disbanded immediately for committing such heinous crimes.

US worried at extrajudicial killing and judiciary politicisation in Bangladesh


The United States expressed serious concern over the failure to fully investigate extra-judicial killings by security forces, including several deaths in custody of alleged criminals detained by Rab. US also expressed serious concern over the custodial deaths, politicisation of the judiciary, discrimination against women, and violence against women and children. The concern was expressed in 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on 8 April, 2011.
The report said that security forces committed extrajudicial killings and were responsible for custodial deaths, torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention. ‘Some members of the security forces acted with impunity. Prison conditions at times were life-threatening, lengthy pre-trial detention continued to be a problem, and authorities infringed on citizens’ privacy rights,’ it said.

Although the constitution prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment, security forces including the Rapid Action Battalion and police frequently employed torture and severe physical and psychological abuse during arrests and interrogations, the report said. It said, ‘Abuse consisted of threats, beatings, and the use of electric shock.’

Quoting human rights organisations, it stated that security forces tortured at least 22 persons in 2010. The government rarely charges, convicts, or punishes those responsible and a climate of impunity allowed such abuses by RAB and the police to continue, the report observed.

It said the government limited freedom of speech and of the press, self-censorship continued, and security forces harassed journalists. The government curbed freedom of assembly, and politically motivated violence remained a problem, it said. ‘Official corruption and related impunity continued,’ the report mentioned.

It said that discrimination against women, and violence against women and children remained serious problems as did discrimination against persons with disabilities and against persons based on their sexual orientation. Trafficking in persons remained a serious problem.

Violence against religious and ethnic minorities still occurred although many government and civil society leaders stated that these acts often had political or economic motivations and could not be attributed only to religious belief or affiliation, said the report.

According to the report, limits on worker rights and child labour remained problems. The report said an increasingly politicised judiciary exacerbated problems in an already overwhelmed judicial system and constrained access to justice for members of opposition parties.

The law provides for an independent judiciary but in practice, a longstanding temporary provision of the constitution placed the executive in charge of the lower courts, judicial appointments, and compensation for judicial officials.

Despite ostensible separation of the judiciary from the executive, the report said that the political authority made judicial appointments to higher courts and allegedly influenced many judicial decisions on politically sensitive cases, including decisions regarding bail and detention for political opponents of the government in 2010.

On April 11, the Awami League government appointed 17 additional judges to the High Court triggering protests from the pro-opposition Supreme Court Bar Association leaders, the report mentioned.

On September 26, 2010, the government appointed Justice ABM Khairul Haque as the new chief justice, superseding two senior members of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, the report said adding that opposition leaders criticised the appointment, stating that Khairul was chosen because of his perceived loyalty to the ruling party.

According to a set timeline, Khairul Haque was scheduled to retire as chief justice in May and he would assume responsibility for heading a constitutionally mandated caretaker government that would be responsible for conducting the next round of parliamentary elections, the report mentioned.

About prison conditions, the report says that prison system conditions remained life-threatening at times due to overcrowding, inadequate facilities, and lack of proper sanitation.

Human rights observers stated that these conditions contributed to custodial deaths and unlike in the previous year, there were no accounts of security forces holding detainees in temporary or military detention facilities, the report said.

According to right organisation Odhikar, 46 persons died in prison and 109 died in the custody of police and other security forces in 2010, it mentioned.

It said that the existing prison population at year’s end was 69,650, or more than over 200 per cent of the official prison capacity of 29,240. Of the entire prison population, approximately one-third of the detainees had been convicted. The rest were either awaiting trial or detained for investigation.

Due to the severe backlog of cases, individuals awaiting trial often spent more time in jail than if they had been convicted and served a maximum sentence, the report said.

In most cases, prisoners slept in shifts because of the overcrowding and did not have adequate bathroom facilities, it stated.

In 2010, the government ordered the release of 1,000 prisoners to help ease overcrowding, the report said adding that some human rights groups expressed concern over the methods used to determine which prisoners qualified for the release. It stated that in general the government did not permit prison visits by independent human rights monitors, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. This news taken from the New Age

Is there any mechanism to stop the barbarity of the RAB in this country?


AHRC Investigative Report: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received credible information that the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has shot a juvenile college student causing a permanent disability in Jhalkathi district. On 23 March 2011, a team of the RAB-8 stopped 16-year-old Limon Hossen, who was an examinee of the Higher Secondary Certificate near to his house and him in his thigh on the suspicion that he was a terrorist. As a result of this deliberate shooting the left leg of Limon has been amputated by the doctors of the National Institute of Traumatology, Orthopedic and Rehabilitation (NITOR) as all the tissues were found completely damaged. The RAB, which is reputed to be the “official death squad of the Bangladesh Government”, has now blocked off the whole ward of the hospital denying all the attendants of the patients at the hospital. The plain-clothed members of the RAB are intimidating and threatening the relatives, neighbours, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders who are supporting the victim financially to receive treatment and express sympathy to the family. People of the victim’s neighbourhood are now hiding to save their life in fear of extrajudicial killing at the hands of the RAB. Please intervene immediately into this matter urging the authorities of Bangladesh to stop harassment by the RAB and prosecute the perpetrators.
CASE NARRATIVES: (Based on interviews with the victim, witnesses, and
examination of relevant documents)

Md. Limon Hossen, a 16-year-old student of the Kathalia P. G. S. Multilateral High School and College and an examinee of the (currently ongoing) Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board of Dhaka. Limon’s family lives in Saturia village under the jurisdiction of the Rajapur police station in Jhalkathi district. His father Mr. Tofazzel Hossen is a day-labourer by profession while his mother Mrs. Henoara Begum is a housewife.

On 23 March 2011, at around 3:30pm, Limon was asked by his mother to bring the family’s cattle from the bank of the Sondha river where three cows were left for grazing. At around 4pm, while returning home Limon was stopped by a group of nine persons riding three motorbikes (three persons on each bike). Among them one man was plain clothed while the rest eight were wearing the black uniform of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

The plain clothed man, who was later identified as Md. Lutfor Rahman, Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) of the Crime Prevention Company No. 01 of the RAB-8 based in Barisal city, asked Limon’s name and started beating accusing him (Limon) to be a ‘terrorist’. Limon, who used to manage his tuition fees by working as part-time labourer at local brick factory due to his family’s unaffordability, claimed that he was student informing the name of his college. He also requested the RAB men to contact the principal of the Kathalia P. G. S. Multilateral School and College to verify his studentship. DAD Lutfor and his colleagues denied to accept Limon’s statement and attempted to kill him by pointing gun at him. Limon cried in fear and requested the RAB personnel for not to kill him. Suddenly, DAD Lutfor shot him pointing gun in his left thigh. Limon fell on the ground and lost his sense. The news of Limon’s shooting at Limon in broad day light reached his relatives and neighbours immediately. Limon’s mother Mrs. Henoara Begum along with his uncle Moazzem Hossen rushed to the scene and saw that Limon was bleeding from his left leg. When the mother and uncle cried out for help for saving the life of Limon the members of the RAB prevented them from approaching Limon. The RAB members started beating Moazzem. DAD Lutfor grounded Moazzem and stood on Moazzem’s head and neck with Lutfor’s boot while the other colleagues held his hands and legs in order to stop Moazzem’s movement.

The RAB personnel took off the lungi (a clothed worn by males in Bangladesh and few neighbouring countries) from Limon’s body making his body naked. They put the lungi on the blood, which came out from Limon’s body, and stamped with their boots to wipe the blood from the ground with the lungi and threw the blood-soaked cloth into the river.

The RAB personnel took off Limon’s shirt to tie up the bullet wound. After about two hours four persons carried Limon’s body to a boat at a nearby boat pier and asked the boatman Mr. Munsef to ply the boat, which left for unknown place.

The family became worried about Limon’s fate and the deteriorating health condition of Moazzem, who was critically injured due to torture by the RAB. They took Moazzem to the Kawkhali hospital for treatment. They learned from the eyewitnesses that a black pickup van of the RAB took away Limon’s body from a pier near to Jamaddar Bari. Since then, Limon whereabouts remained unknown to the family. Later, in the evening, Limon found himself at the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barisal city when he returned to his sense.

In the late night, DAD Lutfor filed two criminal cases (No. 10 and 11) with the Rajapur police station accusing Limon and seven others claiming an incident of encounter between a so called group of terrorists and the RAB-8, which is habituated to publicize fake stories of encounter since its inception.

The first case (First Information Report- FIR No. 10 of the Rajapur police station, dated 23 March 2011) was registered under Sections 19 A and 19 F of the Arms Act-1878. In this case DAD Lutfor claimed that a group of terrorists of the Shahid Jomaddar’s gang opened gun fire targeting the RAB team when the latter reached Shahid Jomaddar’s house. RAB responded the gunshots by firing from their own pistols and Stenguns. The terrorists escaped except one person named Limon, who had a bullet wounds in his left thigh, with a USA-made pistol and magazines in his possession.

The second case (First Information Report- FIR No. 11 of the Rajapur police station, dated 23 March 2011) was registered under Sections 322, 353, 307 and 34 of the Penal Code-1860 for obstructing the law-enforcement agencies to discharge their duties and attempting to murder.

In both complaints the RAB’s DAD Lutfor claimed Limon’s age as 25 years despite the fact that according to the official records Limon’s age is 16 years and 3 months only. They have also insisted the hospital staffs to record the same age of Limon when he was brought to the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barisal.

On 24 March, at 10am Limon’s family came to know that Limon had been admitted to the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barisal. When the relatives went to the hospital they saw four armed men of the RAB cordoned Limon at Bed No. 11 of the Surgical Ward No. 27. The RAB men refused Limon’s father Mr. Tofazzel to see his son. Limon’s mother Mrs. Henoara, as a form of extreme submissiveness and request, the held legs of the on-duty RAB personnel requesting them to allow her to see her son. Then, they allowed Henoara to go her son, but after a short while they kicked out her from the hospital. The family learned that Limon was admitted to the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital at 8pm on 23 March, after four hours of the shooting Limon by the RAB.

After the midnight of 24 March, the doctors of the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital confirmed that they were unable to cure Limon, who had a perforation in his left thigh due to bullet wounds. On 25 March, the doctors referred Limon to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (NICVD) for better treatment. The doctors of the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital implied that Limon’s condition was critical and life-threatening for which huge amount of money will be required to save his life. The family became worried about money. The people of Limon’s neighbourhood donated money for his treatment although it was not enough that compelled the helpless family to borrow money mortgaging a piece of land.

On 26 March evening, the Rajapur police cordoned by Constables Aftab and Abdur Rashid took Limon to the NICVD in the city of Dhaka by an ambulance forcing Limon’s family to pay BDT 5,500.00 for the fare of the ambulance. When Limon was taken to the NICVD early in the morning of 27 March the doctors further referred him to the National Institute of Traumatology, Orthopedic and Rehabilitation (NITOR) for required treatment.

On 27 March, the doctors of the NITOR operated on Limon’s left and finally amputated it from the thigh of which all the tissues were found completely damaged due to bullet wounds. Limon has been under treatment of the doctors of the NITOR, who imposed all the expenditure of Limon’s surgery upon the family.

The members of the RAB cordoned the hospital after Limon had been taken to the NITOR and continued surveillance.

On 6 April, a leading national daily newspaper published a detailed report about the incident with a picture of Limon’s amputated leg. Since the media report the RAB and police forced the authorities of the NITOR to lock the hospital ward where Limon was admitted. All the doors of the ward were locked from inside expelling the relatives of other patients and denying entry to visitors at that ward. The journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers were refused entry to the hospital by the uniformed and plain-clothed members of the RAB and the police. The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Bangladesh Prof. Mizanur Rahman has only been allowed to visit Limon, who described the story to him. The NHRC Chairman suggested the parents of Limon to file complaints to seek justice from the court of law.

Following the suggestion of the NHRC Chairman when Limon’s relatives tried to consult with lawyers regarding filing complaint with the local Court of Magistrate of Jhalkathi district the members of the RAB have started intimidating and threatening everyone of the whole area in Jhalkathi including the journalists, lawyers, relatives and neighbours for expressing their opinion regarding the barbarity of this paramilitary force, which has earned reputation of an “official death squad of the Bangladesh Government”.

Moreover, the officials of the RAB have been calling many people over cell phones asking them to go to the office of the RAB-8 and keep silent about the case of Limon. A large number of plain-clothed members of the RAB have been staying in Saturia village and collecting the names of and other particulars of the persons, who have already shared their views with the newspapers and donated money to Limon’s family for his treatment. The well-wishers and neighbours of Limon have now been forced to go in hiding in fear of extrajudicial killing by the RAB.

Additionally, the plain-clothed members of the RAB have cordoned the Ward of the NITOR denying entry of the attendants of the patients, who have been helpless for getting food, medicine and assistance for using washrooms while hospital does not provide adequate support and care of the patients.

Limon’s father Mr. Tofazzel Hossain told the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) that his family has seen an unimaginable disaster due to the atrocities of the RAB. He pointed out that, firstly, his son, who had passion of maintaining study by part-time working in brick factory, has been a physically disabled for his whole life. Secondly, as a day labourer Tofazzel cannot afford the high expenditure of medical treatment of his son as the public hospital asked his family to buy all medicines and necessary tools for the surgery and the post-operation medical treatment. He has already spent BDT 150,000.00 for his son’s treatment, which has also been cordially supported by the people of all walks of his native village and by selling a piece of his land. He is highly confused about the fate of his son as the family’s affordability is on the verge of its last limit. Thirdly, Tofazzel’s hope for getting justice has been diminishing due to continuous threats and intimidations by the RAB to his relatives, neighbours and other professionals who have expressed their sympathy to his family. Tofazzel asked when the AHRC interviewed him, “Can anyone imagine how we have been suffering from this disastrous situation? Is there any mechanism to stop the barbarity of the RAB in this country?”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned there is another person named Limon Hossain Jamaddar, who lives in Dhaka and reportedly employed in a private company, in the area where Limon was shot by the RAB-8 on 23 March 2011. This Limon Hossain Jomaddar, aged around 25 years, is a son of Mr. Kamrul Jamaddar, having a relationship with Mr. Shahid Jamaddar whom the RAB team accused in the two criminal cases lodged after shooting Limon Hossen, who is 16-year-old college student.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), which is termed as an “elite force” by the Government of Bangladesh, did not bother for verifying the identity of a targeted person regardless whether the person concerned is innocent or involved in any kind of offence due to its extreme lack of minimum efficiency of law-enforcement.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please urge the authorities of Bangladesh to launch a thorough investigation into the matter immediately asking them to prosecute the perpetrators for the crime beyond any impunity. The victim, his relatives and well-wishers must be protected from any further attacks or harassment by the Rapid Action Battalion or the police. Adequate compensation should be afforded to the victim. The two fabricated cases that have already registered against Limon Hossen by the RAB must be dropped. The RAB should be disbanded immediately for committing such heinous crimes.

Hasina government wants to continue extra judicial killing


EJK Report: Another person has been killed extra judicially in Bangladesh. The killed as identified Shafiqul Islam. He is 42 years old. His father Chan Miah living at Daudkandi Upazilla under Comilla district. Bangladeshi elite force led by Army Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has killed Shafiqul early in the morning this day (4 April, 2011) at Araihazar Upazilla of Narayangonj district in the name of so-called gunfight.
Private sources said, over 8,000 people have been killed extra judicially by RAB in Bangladesh since 2004. Hasina led present Grand Alliance government wants to contune extra judicial killings and torturing which was started BNP-Jammat alliance government.