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Rights bodies worried as MPs demand crossfire killing of rapists

  • Published at 02:54 pm January 15th, 2020
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Transparency International Bangladesh and Ain o Salish Kendra on Wednesday, in separate press statements, condemned such a demand

Human rights watchdogs have expressed deep concern over demands by lawmakers for rapists to be killed in crossfire in the country.

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), in separate press statements on Wednesday, condemned and protested against such a demand voiced by several lawmakers in parliament.

On Tuesday, several members of parliament -- both from the treasury and opposition benches -- demanded that rapists be executed in crossfire to eliminate the heinous social crime in the country.

TIB has urged that all remarks made by the lawmakers on the subject be expunged as they are contradictory to the rule of law and militate against human rights.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said a section of lawmakers, in a discussion in parliament on Tuesday, demanded that crossfire be applied to resist incidents of rape as an expression of their disappointment and resentment at the situation, which was deeply condemnable and worrying.

He said:"We want to believe that the speeches were made emotionally. But, being legislators, how could they have forgotten to give priority to the rule of law, justice, and safeguarding human rights? 

"Their stand will cause a degradation of the law enforcement agencies' professionalism, increase people's distrust of the judicial process, lead to a tendency to violate the law on the part of the law enforcement agencies, and introduce a trigger-happy culture in the country," he said.

Such immature speeches of the lawmakers are disgraceful for democratic values, he said.

"All are demanding that the crime has to be resisted by ensuring exemplary punishment under the law and increasing the excellence of the judicial process through putting emphasis on the professionalism of the law enforcement agencies, not through breaching the law."

The rights organization, ASK, also demanded that the lawmakers' comments be expunged. 

In a press statement signed by ASK Executive Director Sheepa Hafiza, the rights watchdog said the MPs' opting for extrajudicial methods like crossfire to stamp out the social crime was very unfortunate.

ASK thinks the lawmakers' speeches will deter the establishment of the rule of law and justice in the country, the statement said.

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