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It’s unfair to put all the blame of crossfires on RAB: Home Minister

Police 2022-01-20, 10:43pm


Rab contingent. UNB

Dhaka, Jan 20 - Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday remarked that putting all the blame of crossfires on the country's elite force Rapid Action Battalion is unfair.

The minister said this when a reporter sought his comment on a statement by12 foreign human rights bodies seeking ban Rab from deployment at UN peacekeeping missions.

He was speaking to journalists after addressing the DC Conference at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.

He said, “They talk about human rights but we can challenge that there is no country where police encounters don’t occur.”

When someone points arms at police they can’t sit quietly and thus crossfires happen, said the minister. “So I think it’s an injustice being done to Rab by putting all the blame on them,” he said.

The minister said, “Those who created Rab are not liking it anymore. They are spreading propaganda against the force but not highlighting their good works.”

When asked whether RAB is facing political opposition he said, “It’s up to you to decide.”

Asaduzzaman said there was the government wants to turn the country’s security forces into world class.

He said “We have already introduced national emergency service number triple nine like many other countries in the world.”

Twelve international human rights organisations have written a letter to the United Nations Department of Peace Operations seeking a ban on RAB from the UN deployment for its alleged involvement in torture, enforced disappearances, and other human rights violations.

The letter was sent to UN Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) disclosed it on its website on Thursday.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations has yet to provide a formal response to the letter which was sent privately over two months ago on November 8, 2021.

“If Secretary General Guterres is serious about ending human rights abuses by UN peacekeepers, he will ensure that units with proven records of abuse like the Rapid Action Battalion are excluded from deployment,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “The evidence is clear; now it’s time for the UN to draw a line.

The organizations that signed the letter are-Amnesty International, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD),Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)Capital Punishment Justice Project, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Human Rights Watch, International Federation for Human Rights, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, The Advocates for Human Rights and World Organization Against Torture (OMCT). - UNB