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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Amnesty concerned at death, torture in custody

Amnesty concerned at death, torture in custody
Staff Correspondent
http://www.thedaily star.net/ 2007/05/13/ d70513012213. htm


Amnesty International has expressed grave concern over the alleged "tortures and deaths in custody" since the declaration of the state of emergency in January 11 in Bangladesh, it said in a statement.The human rights watchdog called for prompt, impartial and effective investigations into all reports of torture and death in custody and urged the caretaker government to ensure that any official responsible for such heinous acts be punished after a fair trial.In the statement issued on May 10, it said it believes that the opportunity should now be seized to send a clear and unequivocal message that a climate of impunity, which has previously shielded politicians, law enforcement agencies and other officials responsible for human rights violations from effective prosecution, will no longer be tolerated.The human rights organisation drew attention to the reported death in custody of Garo community leader Cholesh Richil on March 18, 2007 following torture by law enforcement agencies and demanded "those identified as responsible for the death in custody of Cholesh Richil are brought to justice in a fair trial without delay."They also demanded that the government allow witnesses to submit evidence without fear and make public the terms of reference of the judicial commission formed to investigate the death of Cholesh and also the report of the commission be made public.Amnesty International also condemned the reported arrest and torture of Shahidul Islam, founder director of Uttaran, an NGO. They demanded that an independent and impartial investigation into the allegations be instituted, its terms of reference include protection of witnesses and the government make public the outcome of the investigation.They also recommended that the government establishes clear and enforceable safeguards against abuse of administrative detention procedures during the state of emergency, which Amnesty International says results in torture.

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