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'People are living in fear of disappearances'

  • Published at 01:31 pm December 10th, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:32 pm December 10th, 2017
'People are living in fear of disappearances'
About 2,881 cases, including forced disappearance and extrajudicial killings, have been lodged with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the last five years. According to the NHRC, 1,972 cases were disposed while 909 remain pending. NHRC Public Relations Officer Farhana Sayeed said: “A total of 439 cases were lodged from January till December 5. Out of this, 140 have been disposed. “During the same period, 20 missing cases and 16 cases of forced disappearance were reported.” He said about 70 complaints were taken into cognizance this year ​on​ their own initiative and five of them have been disposed. NHRC Chairman Kazi Rezaul Hoque has said people are in fear over​incidents of ​missing ​people​ and forced disappearance in Bangladesh. Regarding the human rights condition in Bangladesh, he said: “We have been able to recover from the culture of injustice and rampant violation of human rights because of the trial of war criminals​,​ and the ​trials of the ​murderers of Bangabandhu and his family.” About forced disappearances, he said: “This is happening in some sectors. We have achievements and failures. We have done a lot of things and la​gged in doing some. “People are living in fear because of these incidents, and I am not disagreeing with it. The law enforcers need to bring back the missing people to ​alleviate​ the fear.” He also said Bangladesh will be in far better once it is able to ensure security for people and improve human rights conditions. The NHRC chairman said: “Whenever we come to know about missing incidents and forced disappearance through newspapers and complaints, we ask the Home Ministry and other ministries concerned to take initiatives.” Nur Khan Liton, who has been working for human rights in Bangladesh, said: “Incidents of forced disappearance and crossfire are aggravating the human rights ​situation​. “To sum up, it is a nightmare.” Stating that such conditions has led to panic, he said: “Witnesses are afraid to speak up. People are afraid to protest. “The law enforcement agencies must accept cases for each incident of forced disappearance and crossfire. If a witness goes to the police station, then a case must be filed and proper investigation should be conducted.“ According to reports by human rights organizations and Ain o Salish Kendra, about 125 people were killed in police custody or crossfire between January and September of this year. During the same period, at least 50 people were picked up by people posing as members of law enforcement agencies. Only seven returned and bodies of two ​were ​found. But only three people were detained for their alleged involvement with these incidents. The report also said some 40 people were lynched in these seven months. Recently, former Bangladesh ambassador to Qatar and Vietnam M Maroof Zaman went missing on December 4. Earlier on November 7, North South University teacher Dr Mubashar Hasan also went missing. Apart from Maroof and Mubashar, several journalists, businessmen, and students have gone missing in the last three months. This article was first published on Bangla Tribune