139 fall prey to ‘crossfire’ in 2017: Odhikar

Staff Correspondent  | Published: 00:05, Jan 13,2018 | Updated: 00:33, Jan 13,2018

 
 

At least 139 people fell victim to ‘crossfire’ and 86 to enforced disappearance in Bangladesh in 2017, said rights organisation Odhikar.
The annual report of the organisation released on Friday also said 59 people ‘died’ in jail and 77 people were killed in political violence in the outgoing year.
Besides, 783 people became victims of rape, 242 were subjected to sexual harassment, 256 women became victims of violence for dowry and 52 women were injured in acid attacks in 2017.
The Odhikar report said 32 were arrested under notorious Information and Communication Technology Act, one journalist was killed, 24 injured, 9 were assaulted and 11 journalists were threatened in 2017.
It reported that 25 Bangladeshis killing by Indian border security force BSF, injuring 29 and 28 Bangladeshis were victims of abduction by BSF in last year.
The report said 13 apparel workers were killed, 362 were injured and 3141 were terminated from their jobs.
Besides, 82 workers of other sectors were killed and 80 others were injured in 2017.
Odhikar said that most cases of human rights abuse could not be reported in the media due to hindrances on freedom of expression and media and also due to self-censorship.
‘Victims and their families refrained from making the incidents of violence on them public, due to fear of reprisals... the actual number of human rights violations were more than the information published in this report,’ it said.
Odhikar recommended that in order to restore democracy and the franchise of the people, an accountable government must be established through free, fair and inclusive election, under a neutral interim government or even under the supervision of the United Nations.
It said the incidents of extrajudicial killings and torture by law enforcement agencies must be investigated and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
It also recommended that the government should investigate and explain all incidents of enforced disappearance and post-disappearance killings, allegedly perpetrated by law enforcement agencies.

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