HRW urged to investigate DB-led enforced disappearance and torture allegations

As a result of the U.S. sanctions on RAB and senior officials of the death squad force of Bangladesh, a shift has been observed in the nature of human rights abuses. Instead of RAB, the Detective Branch (DB) of the Police has taken the lead and become involved in enforced disappearances and torture. This has been reflected in the recent statement of Human Rights Watch (HRW) circulated on February 3, 2023.

The statement read: “Bangladesh authorities should investigate recent allegations of enforced disappearances and torture including by members of the police Detective Branch.” (HRW, February 3, 2023) The statement cited three particular cases to back its claim. It also mentioned that in a review by the UN Committee against Torture, Bangladesh police were described as a “state within a state.” It asserts, “in general, one got the impression that the police (in Bangladesh), as well as other law enforcement agencies, were able to operate with impunity and zero accountability.”