HRW urges Bangladesh to suspend 'war on drugs'

HRW urges Bangladesh to suspend ‘war on drugs’

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Human Rights Watch has urged Bangladesh to suspend its ‘war on drugs’ campaign until proper training and procedures are put in place to ensure that security forces act in conformity with legal standards.

The New York-based international rights body also said on Thursday that Bangladesh government should order an independent investigation into allegations of extrajudicial killings during the ‘war on drugs’.

“The campaign against drugs has led to more than 100 violent deaths at the hands of security forces, according to local media and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs),” the human rights watchdog said in a press release.

“It should be suspended until proper training and procedures are put in place to ensure that security forces act in conformity with Bangladesh and international legal standards,” it reads.

“While drugs are a serious problem in Bangladesh, any campaign against them should be conducted within the rule of law and avoid the use of unnecessary force,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW.

“Until this spate of killings is independently investigated and proper procedures are put in place to protect the public, the campaign should be suspended,” he said.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a “war on drugs” in early May 2018 after a reported rise in methamphetamine sales and use.

Human Rights Watch urged the government to establish an independent commission to investigate allegations of extrajudicial killings.

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