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Uphold human rights in anti-drug push, NHRC urges

Graphic: NHRC Chairperson Kazi Reazul Hoque talks to the media

The NHRC Chairperson has expressed serious concern over the rising number of deaths and injuries associated with the anti-drugs campaign.

The Chairperson of the National Human Right Commission of Bangladesh Kazi Reazul Hoque has urged Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan to protect the human rights of those accused or suspected of drug-related offences.

In a letter to the Home Minister, Hoque said he supported the government's anti-drug campaign and goal of bringing to justice those involved in the drug trade.

However, he expressed serious concern over the rising number of deaths and injuries associated with the campaign.

At least 110 suspects have been killed and over 9,000 arrested in the past 15 days, the NewAge Bangladesh reported.

"The primary protector of basic rights of the people is the State. So the State and all government agencies are bound to uphold and ensure the rights protected in the Constitution," the NHRC Chairperson said in the letter.

"Article 35(3) of the Constitution mandates all accused of criminal offences to get open and speedy justice by an independent and neutral court established by the law," he said.

"So all agencies involved with implementation of the article are responsible for ensuring punishment of the accused after bringing them under the purview of law."

On May 22, the NHRC said in a statement said it opposed any form of extrajudicial killing, and expressed concern over such killings in a "gunfight" between "drug peddlers" and law enforcement agencies.

The anti-drug campaign should seek to identify those involved in narcotics trade, patronising it or promoting its use, and legal action should be taken against them, he told bdnews24.com

Police should follow their prescribed rules and regulations in all cases, Hoque said.

"If they are forced to encounter criminals, law enforcement agents should do so within the purview of law," he said.

Date: 4 June 2018


Image credits

  1. NHRC Chairperson Kazi Reazul Hoque talks to the media - national Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh