Extrajudicial Killings are in No Way Justified: Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh

‘Extrajudicial killings are an extreme violation of human rights; no individual with good sense can support such killings. The Commission is also vocal against such killings. In no way does the Commission support such killings’ shared Nasima Begum, NDC, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh.

On 29 October 2020, she made such remarks during her speech at a virtual dialogue on the Prevailing Human Rights Situation of Bangladesh’ while addressing the issue of extrajudicial killings and highlighting the position of the Commission regarding such. This virtual dialogue was organised by Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) through Zoom ConferenceRooms and was attended by local and national human rights defenders, representatives of civil society organisations, members and staff of the Commission, journalists, lawyers and other stakeholders.

The participants of the meeting shared their work experiences highlighting the existing human rights situation in their respective districts, the different types of obstacles that they face in their work and the kind of initiatives they expect from the Commission. During the meeting, Tamanna Hoq Riti, Assistant Coordinator of ASK shares the current scenario of human rights through a presentation titled ” Statistical Picture of Prevailing Human RightsSituation” The report was prepared based on news reports published on nine national dailies, online news portals, and ASK’s own findings. It focused on the trend noticed in the rate of extrajudicial killings, deaths in police and jail custody, border clashes, harassment of journalists, freedom of expression, violence against women, including rape, domestic violence, violence against children including child rape and child killings.

Human rights defenders have raised their concerns regarding the issues of rape, child abuse And murder, harassment of human rights activists, extrajudicial killings, and abuse of power By government officials. Answering various questions of human rights defenders, the Commission chairperson said that the commission is concerned about incidents like rape, Child rape including rape of male child. According to her, there is no alternative to ensure Speedy trial of these incidents. He urged human rights defender to give courage to women victims of rape as well, saying that “victims of rape need to understand that they are not responsible for the offence in these cases; all the responsibility of the crime belongs solely to the rapist. The rapist must be afraid.

Besides, the victims of rape also need to be made aware of the necessity to save samples for DNA testing. On behalf of the Commission, she shared that for the firsttime ever, the Commission would hold a “national public hearing” to find out the root causes of the rape and accordingly advice the government on the issue.

On behalf of the ASK, Md. Nur Khan, Secretary General, Executive Committee, said that this year, the Commission has completed ten years since its establishment. As a result, human rights defenders have very high expectations from the Commission. The Commission is a shelter for human rights defenders;it is the job of the Commission to build bridges between the government and human rights defenders. Md Nur Khan expressed that he hopes the Commission will overcome its various limitations and sincerely try to discharge its responsibilities as per its mandate.