The South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) has expressed concern over government’s continued statements defending the Rab shooting of college student Limon Hossain into disability.

“We believe such statements of advisers and ministers of the government only serve to provide continuing patronage and protection to Rab from the legal consequences of its extrajudicial and indiscriminate shooting at ordinary people of the country,” a SAHR press release said yesterday.

It also mentioned people in the government repeatedly termed Limon a criminal without giving any evidence extracted through any “acceptable and credible” investigation.

Sixteen-year-old Limon was shot in the left leg by a Rab team on March 23 at his Chhaturia village of Jhalakathi. The leg had to be amputated later.

“Though often imaginary excuses and stories are introduced to justify the murders and shooting, we believe it has become imperative for Bangladesh to immediately stop such extrajudicial killing for sustaining its reputation as a nation that believes in rule of law, human rights and democracy, and is a party to international human rights regime.”

Based in Sri Lankan capital Colombo, SAHR was established in 2000 and is committed to addressing human rights issues at both national and regional levels. It has members from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The rights body is worried over the ways Limon and his family members are being subjected to continued harassment, threat and insecurity. It hopes that he will obtain every legal aid and assistance from the government, and also a fair trial from the court.

The Bangladesh government needs to realise that the impunity with which the elite force has carried out extrajudicial killings since its inception in 2004 may have become well-entrenched after more than half a decade of near non-accountability, it said.

“If the government is truly committed to bringing an end to extrajudicial killing by the law enforcement agencies, it needs to translate its talk into decisive and demonstrable action.”

Source: The Daily Star – 22.06.2011