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Gone without a trace

  • Published at 11:50 pm August 30th, 2019

We must at all costs ensure that due process is maintained

Despite the progress the country has made in the past few years in many areas, enforced disappearances continues to be a growing problem: According to the International Federation for Human Rights, since 2009, there have been 507 such cases in Bangladesh, of whom some returned, and some were found dead. 

What is troubling is the fact that, in many cases, witnesses claim to have seen the victims getting picked up by law enforcement without due process. 

Such a picture of our law enforcement is far from ideal: This not only breaks the trust that the public have in our law enforcement agencies -- a crucial part of ensuring security for our citizens -- but it flies in the face of the ideas of freedom and security Bangladesh has stood for since its birth. 

Whether or not the accused party is guilty of any crime, we must at all costs ensure that due process is maintained -- that we allow defendants to be judged fairly via our justice system.

Enforced disappearances have little to no effect on the deterrence of crimes, and only cause tremendous grief for the individual and families concerned.

If we are unable to rely on our law enforcement and justice system, then all the progress we have achieved so far will be for nothing. 

We sincerely hope that the authorities take this into consideration and ensure that cases involving disappearances are investigated fully, that the victim and their families are compensated, and that law enforcement personnel responsible for acting outside the law are held accountable.