Bangladesh witnesses 105 deaths in 'War on Drugs'
Twelve more alleged drug dealers were killed in Bangladesh in overnight raids carried out by the elite anti-crime unit, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police in nine administrative districts, police said today. The tally of those killed in the "war on drugs" has reached 105 since the launch of the nationwide crackdown on narcotics trade about a fortnight ago.
RAB, police facing criticism over 'extrajudicial killings'
The deaths of alleged drug dealers by the RAB and the police has invited criticism from the rights group and foreign diplomats expressed concerns over the "extrajudicial killings". Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina had on May 15 announced the launch of an aggressive war on drugs to smash the surging trade of Yaba, a cheap pill combining methamphetamine and caffeine.
Some casualties due to internal clashes between drug peddlers
Bodies of drug traders were found lying on the street, with the police claiming that some casualties were the result of "internal clashes" of drug peddlers. Yesterday, the International Affairs sub-committee of the Awami League briefed about the foreign diplomats' concern over the "extrajudicial killings". But Awami League leaders said the agencies were forced to retaliate after being attacked by the alleged drug peddlers.
Bangladesh became the destination for Yaba smuggled from Myanmar
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that security forces have launched an "all-out war" on drugs and the clampdown would continue until the drug trafficking was eliminated. Bangladesh does not produce drugs, but in the recent years it had become the destination for "Yaba", a narcotic substance often referred to as "horse drug". The drug is smuggled from Myanmar and is popular among young people.
Bangladesh NHRC condemns the extrajudicial killings
The Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) strongly condemned the extrajudicial killings, with its chairman Kazi Rezaul Hoque saying that he plans to formally write to the government expressing grave concerns. "We want to say unequivocally that the criminals, whoever she or he is, must face actions through the due legal procedure," he said, echoing demands from other rights watchdogs.