Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bangladesh: Petition against RAB moved in Courts

The writ petition was filed in the wake of criticism against the activities of Rab. Different human rights groups have accused the force of violations of the constitution, laws to deal with crimes and human rights through extra-judicial killings in custody and 'crossfire.' The petition said the amendments did not authorise the elite anti-crime force to investigate any case unless assigned by the government. But Rab has arbitrarily been overstepping its authority.

Rab activities challenged in court

A writ petition was filed in the High Court yesterday challenging the formation of the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and seeking an injunction against the activities of the force.

Two senior Supreme Court lawyers filed the petition terming the law leading to the formation of the force contradictory to the constitution.

The petition, filed after six months of the launch of Rab, is likely to be heard Saturday at a High Court Division bench.

The writ petition was filed in the wake of criticism against the activities of Rab. Different human rights groups have accused the force of violations of the constitution, laws to deal with crimes and human rights through extra-judicial killings in custody and 'crossfire.'

The main opposition Awami League has also demanded disbandment of the force, terming it a 'killing force'.

A total of 33 persons have so far been killed in Rab custody and 'crossfire'.

In yesterday's petition filed by advocates Raziur Rahman Chowdhury and Sheikh Golam Hafiz, it has been claimed that the formation of Rab by amending the Armed Police Battalion Ordinance, 1979 is contradictory to the constitution and so, all activities of the force are illegal.

Attorney General AF Hassan Ariff however denied the allegations. He said the law relating to the formation of the force is 'valid' and it was done in line with the constitution.

The petition said the amendments did not authorise the elite anti-crime force to investigate any case unless assigned by the government. But Rab has arbitrarily been overstepping its authority.

Three secretaries -- of law, home and the cabinet division -- and the additional inspector general have been made respondents in the case.

The petitioners pleaded for a ruling on the government and postponement of Rab activities until the hearing of the petition.


Daily Star 26/10/2004