South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, is deeply concerned by allegations of extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh, carried out under the guise of a war on drugs.
In the last two weeks, over 120 people have been killed, and over 9000 people have been arrested in an anti-drug sweep conducted by several law enforcement agencies. Human rights defenders have accused the ruling Awami League government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, of taking such actions to create a climate of fear, suppress dissent and drum up populist support ahead of next year’s elections.
SAHR maintains that these actions are fundamentally repressive and undemocratic.
Furthermore, the prima facie classification of victims as “criminals” in a violent “war on drugs”, serves to undermine the individual’s right to life, justice and due process of law. The Bangladesh government must adhere to these fundamental human rights.
SAHR urges the Bangladesh government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to launch a swift and impartial inquiry into extrajudicial killings, which are unconstitutional and violate existing state laws. Those found guilty of directing and carrying out these extra-judicial killings must then be brought to book.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights