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The Bangladesh opposition: Dissolve the elite police unit

Publicerat torsdag 6 april kl 18.58
Man i solglasögon och huvudduk, bokstäverna RAB på ryggen. Minibuss vid vägkant. Bild: Sveriges Radio.
Bild: Sveriges Radio.

Ekot's exclusive report in which a high-ranking policeman in Bangladesh's elite police unit describes torturing and murdering suspects has generated a strong reaction in Bangladesh.

The accusation that torture and extrajudicial executions have been carried out by the Rapid Action Battalion will be investigated, a spokesman for the force has told the Dhaka Tribune.

But at the same time, the head of RAB's media department made the following statement.

"Radio Sweden's report is unclear. They have published news based on the recorded conversation of a so-called RAB official," Mufti Mahmud Khan told the Dhaka Tribune. "If a real RAB official has actually said such things, then legal actions should be taken against him. There are also various gaps in the story; many vague terms have been used."

"Irrespective of this, since the issue has come to light, we will definitely look into the matter," he added.

Khan told the Prothom Alo newspaper that RAB never acted outside of legal boundaries.

"Sometimes we conduct operations to capture petty criminals, dacoits[bandits], terrorists or militants and in those cases, when RAB officials come under fire, they need to defend themselves by returning fire. During these drives, many RAB officials have also been injured and maimed and some have even died."

The National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, which is appointed by the government, has also reacted to Ekot's exclusive.
"An elite force cannot act in this way," he told the Protom Alo newspaper.

"If these allegations are true," he told the Dhaka Tribune, "then the matter should definitely be investigated and the culprits should be punished."

Ekot's investigation has generated a strong reaction on social media in Bangladesh, with most arguing that the report simply confirms what they already suspected.

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