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Respecting due process

  • Published at 12:08 am May 24th, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:54 pm May 30th, 2018
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BIGSTOCK

The rights of its citizens are paramount to the sustainable development of any nation

In the latest drive by law enforcement agencies against drug peddling, more than 40 people, at last count, have been killed in what the authorities are calling gunfights.

While the use and abuse of illegal narcotics must be stopped, and we laud the government and law enforcement agencies for taking a hard stance against it, this latest spate of killings is worrisome.

In a country which prides itself on rule of law, due process must be maintained.

It must be remembered that any individual accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial, and the police cannot play judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to the punishment of perpetrators.

A fair and just judiciary is essential for any functioning democracy, and any extra-judicial killings -- indeed, even the appearance of such killings -- only serve to undermine the democratic values this government has fought so hard to establish.

The rights of its citizens are paramount to the sustainable development of any nation, and especially for Bangladesh, for which democracy is the bedrock on which it was built.

We place ourselves on a slippery slope if we allow our law enforcement agencies impunity in this regard, even if it is against the worst kind of criminal.

While apprehending violent criminals is dangerous and unenviable work, every effort must be made to bring them to justice through the court system.

Additionally, simply eliminating known traffickers does nothing to ensure that drug trafficking is curbed in any meaningful way. There will always be new traffickers who will simply take the place of the old.

Addressing the scourge of drug abuse is an arduous, complicated process, and there are no short cuts.