Bangladesh police violates UN covenant by attacking BNP’s peaceful rallies

Time and again, Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies have attacked violently on the peaceful rallies organized by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for the last decade. In December 2022, ahead of a political gathering, Police killed a BNP activist inside the party’s central office.
The brutal treatment of pro-democracy BNP activists continued in the last month as Police and other law enforcement forces attacked rallies and gatherings demanding democratic rights and protesting the misrule of the Sheikh Hasina regime. In many areas, Police were seen facilitating attacks on BNP men by the armed hoodlums of Awami League.

BNP held a mass march on February 11, 2023, to press demands for democratic rights across the country. Police attacked BNP men in 41 districts when they tried to organize the march.

In Araihazar of Naryanganj, local Police Station’s Officer-in-Charge Azizul Haque obstructed BNP leaders and activists from organizing the rally and eventually ordered indiscriminate firing on the crowd. The heinous act of the Police was well documented by local media. Similar incidents took place in Jamalpur, Jashore, Sirajganj, Bogura, Lalmonirhat, Barguna, Bhola, and other districts.

Police officials who have been identified for leading these attacks include Rezaul Karim at Alamdighi, Bogura, Mohammad Ilias at Palash, Narshindi, Kazi Shahnewaz at Sadar Jamalpur, Md Ali Hossain at Kendua, Netrakona, Asaduzzaman Tito at Kishoreganj and Rupan Kumar Sarkar of Jashore DB police. In addition, several BNP leaders were arrested and put in jail from almost all the districts of the country.
The act of the Police is a clear violation of the United Nation’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Bangladesh is a signatory and has ratified the covenant. Hence the police force has the responsibility to abide by the covenant. The UN should scrutinize the deployment of police officials in the UN missions more effectively to ensure that no officials with records of violating such covenants should be deployed in any UN mission.