Odhikar’s protest against the statement of Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner regarding extrajudicial killings in the name of anti-drug operation

Dhaka, 6 September 2018: Odhikar expresses its strong condemnation over the statement of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Mohammad Mahabubor Rahman regarding the extrajudicial killings taking place in the name of ‘anti-drug operation’ by members of the law enforcement agencies. On September 4, Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman stated in a meeting, “Drug dealers keep arms for their protection. The operations conducted by members of law enforcement agencies to retrieve the weapons, has killed many drug dealers. I think there is no other way. Life should be lost for peace. We will quell unrest forever for peace. If they face us with weapons, we have the right to use weapons. We will keep moving this direction.”[1]

The gunfights in anti-drug operations started countrywide from 15 May 2018 and since then, extra-judicial killings in the name of anti-drug operations escalated. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said that this 'all out war' will continue until the control of drugs.[2]  From 15 May to 31 August, 2018, 228 people have been allegedly killed extra-judicially in the name of this anti-drug operation.  Extrajudicial killings occur in Bangladesh on various pretexts. From 1 January 2009 to 31 August 2018, 1,822 people have been allegedly killed extra-judicially. The law enforcement agencies claim that these people killed in the name of anti-drug operation, are drug dealers, but many family members of the victims alleged that they were killed in a planned way and were not involved in drug dealing.

Extrajudicial killings are an indicator of a dysfunctional criminal justice system. Such killings have increased during the period of the incumbent government and law enforcement members, who enjoy impunity, have now kill civilians without legal process. Odhikar is deeply concerned about this dangerous deterioration in the human rights situation of Bangladesh. This type of ruthless statement from an official of a law enforcement agency and such operations are totally against national and international law. Odhikar demands that the Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner withdraw his statement. Moreover, Odhikar also demands that the perpetrators of the unjustified killings be brought before trial through an impartial and fair investigation of the incidents of extrajudicial killings in the name of anti-drug operation.

In solidarity,

The Odhikar team

PDF Copy: Odhikar Statment on EJK_English

[1] BD News24, 4 September 2018 “CMP chief defends killings of drug suspects as the key to peace”
https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2018/09/04/cmp-chief-defends-killings-of-drug-suspects-as-the-key-to-peace
[2] Ibid

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