Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday criticised Bangladesh government over the enforced disappearances carried out allegedly by the law enforcement agencies in the country.
The international rights group in the report said that the law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh have illegally detained hundreds of people since 2013, including scores of opposition activists, and held them in secret detention.
The 82-page report titled, “‘We Don’t Have Him’: Secret Detentions and Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh” found that at least 90 people were victims of enforced disappearance in 2016 alone. In the first five months of 2017, 48 disappearances were reported. There are allegations of severe torture and ill-treatment while in secret custody.
In the long report, the rights body also recommended prompt investigation into the allegations of such disappearances, “locate and release those held secretly”.
The HRW especially highlighted the “disappearance” cases of the ruling Awami League’s political opponents – Jamaat-e-Islami and the BNP.
The report documents the continuing disappearance of 19 opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP activists. The 19 men were picked up by law-enforcement authorities in eight separate incidents over a two-week period in or around Dhaka in the weeks before the January 2014 elections.
Witnesses and family members told HRW that most of the arrests were carried out by the Rapid Action Battalion or the Detective Branch or DB. In the case of the 19 opposition party members, witnesses said that eight were taken by RAB, six by DB, and the rest by unknown security forces.