Thursday, February 25, 2010

Death penalty and human rights in Bangladesh

By Jahangir Alam Akash, Bangladesh is a country where there is no right to life. By the various way this right has been violating there. The causes of violation to this right are death penalty, extra judicial killings etc. Here is a common practice of death penalty and killings without justice. Every year many peoples are killed by death penalty and by the extra judicial killings. How many people have killed since independence to till today we don’t have this statistics. It is no doubt that, death penalty is one kind of killing.
Recently five persons were killed in death penalty within a day in Bangladesh. On 28th January, 2010 Bangladesh was executed this death penalty which decision was made by the Bangladesh Supreme Court. The killed persons were self declared killers of Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangabondhu is the father of the nation of Bangladesh. Though, question has arisen on the execution procedure of this death penalty.
I want to inform some statistics on Bangladesh to the national and international community. Especially it for the human rights organization and bodies which are working national and international level for the human rights. We have been seeing and reading the news on death penalty almost every week from Bangladesh which was declared by several courts for various charges.
Only by extra judicially at least 1,600 people were killed in Bangladesh since 2004. 58 persons were killed during the ‘Operation clean heart’ in 2002 led by army. We couldn’t remember the horrible mass killings in so-called mutiny at BDR headquarters on 25-26 February, 2009. By that mutiny at least 74 were killed inhumanly including 57 meritorious army officers. After that mutiny at least 71 BDR members was died (Source: the daily Bhorer Kagoj, 25 February, 2010). Most of the died BDR were tortured before death, it was alleged.
Anyhow, execution of death penalty is very inhuman, degrading and cruel. And no where it approved. Especially it is prohibited by the Constitution and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. But, Bangladesh has executing the death penalty as normal.
According to the Spinney Press, The UN reaffirmed and strengthened its position against the death penalty in December 2007 when the General Assembly passed a resolution calling upon member states to establish a moratorium on executions “with a view to abolishing the death penalty.” Evidence from around the world has shown that the death penalty has no unique deterrent effect on crime. Many people have argued that abolishing the death penalty leads to higher crime rates, but studies in the USA and Canada, for instance, do not back this up. In November 2009 the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 was introduced before the House of Representatives. The legislation fulfils Australia’s obligations under the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – which requires Australia to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty. As a consequence, the death penalty will not be able to be re-introduced anywhere in Australia. Although the world is gradually moving towards abolition of capital punishment, in 2008 an estimated 1,718 people were executed in 25 countries and at least 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52 countries. Three quarters of those executions took place in Asia, with China carrying out more executions than the rest of the world’s nations put together. Since 1967 when the last Australian (Ronald Ryan) was hanged, the Australia has maintained a policy of opposition to the death penalty. (It was written in the book-’The death penalty’).
According to this book, most of the executions in 2008 were carried out in Asia, where 11 countries continue to practise the death penalty: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Viet Nam. China alone accounted for at least 1,718 executions – although the figure is believed to be much higher as statistics on death sentences and executions remain state secrets. The Middle East and North Africa was the region with the second highest number of executions (508). In Iran, stoning and hanging were among the cruel and inhumane methods used, with at least 346 people put to death, including eight juvenile offenders. In Saudi Arabia, where execution is usually by public beheading, at least 102 people were executed. In the Americas, only the USA consistently executes people, with 37 executions carried out in 2008 including more in Texas than in any other state. The release of four men from death row in the USA on grounds of innocence brings to more than 120 the number of such cases released since 1975. The only other country in the Americas to execute in 2008 was St Kitts and Nevis, the first Caribbean state to carry out an execution since 2003.
According to the Amnesty International, 93 percents of the world death penalty has executed in China including other four countries. DW-Bengali online section writes (25-2-2010), the European Union was published a declaration on an anti-death penalty. Europe is the first place which is a death penalty free. A proposal of European on anti-death penalty in the Human Rights Commission of Geneva and general assembly of UNO in 1998, was spoiled by the contradictory of USA, China, Africa and some countries of Asia. Though, in 2007 that proposal was passed in general assembly of UNO. And the 58 percents people of China are support to death penalty. In the mean time 93 countries have already abolished to death penalty by making the law. At least 141 country haven’t giving death penalty, now.
We know the Italy has a historical background on anti-death penalty movement. So, we want to thanks and salute to the Italy as well as the countries of European Union for their dedications to the right to life and for the human rights.
Our hope, Bangladesh should obey to national and international treaties and declaration for human rights. And Bangladesh government should abolish the death penalty system immediately. If they have believe a little bit on human rights.
Jahangir Alam Akash
Editor, the Human Rights Today

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Jahangir Alam Akash-Editor of Euro Bangla


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Jahangir Alam Akash Editor Euro Bangla