Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Death toll in political violence rising

The number of killings due to political violence rose sharply across the country in the first half of the current year compared to the corresponding period last year, said rights group Odhikar.

According to information gathered by Odhikar, some 83 persons were killed and 8,508 others injured due to different types of political violence in between January 1 and June 30 this year. The figure was 65 and 5,513 respectively in first six months of 2011.

On the other hand, 177 incidents of internal violence in Awami League claimed 12 lives and injured 2,144 others while 61 incidents of internal violence within BNP claimed life of one person and injured 639 others during the period this year.

There has been an increase in attacks on journalists this year when three journalists were killed, 76 injured, 46 threatened, four attacked and 35 others assaulted in between January 1 and June 30.

Some 76 journalists were injured, 34 threatened and 19 abducted during the same period last year.

There was virtually no decline in the extrajudicial killings in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year as those continued despite repeated assurances by the government to put a halt to it.

A total of 47 persons were killed allegedly by law enforcement agencies in the last six months till June 30 this year when on an average seven persons were killed in every month. The figure was 49 in first six months of 2011 when on an average, one person was killed every four days allegedly by the law enforcers.

Of the 47 ‘executed without justice’ this year, two were members of Gano Mukti Fouj, four businessmen, two youths, one bus helper, one convicted prisoner in Natore District Jail, one fruit vendor, one farmer and 35 alleged criminals.

Incidents of lynching also showed a declining trend in last six months when 62 people were allegedly killed by extrajudicial mob. The figure was 75 during the same period last year.

During January–June period this year, a significant number of women fell victim to rape, dowry related violence, acid violence, domestic violence and sexual harassment though the number of such incidents declined compared to same period last year.

A total of 247 girls and women became victims of sexual harassment. Among them, 11 committed suicide, one was killed, 16 were injured, six assaulted, two abducted, 28 suffered attempted rape and 183 sexually harassed in various ways in the last six months this year.

During the first six months last year, a total of 345 girls and women fell victim to sexual harassment. Among them, 17 committed suicide, one was killed, 35 injured, 59 assaulted, 8 abducted and 09 became victims of attempted rape.

Seven men were killed, 98 men and 23 women injured by stalkers as they protested against acts of sexual harassment.

Killings of Bangladeshi nationals allegedly by Indian BSF along the India-Bangladesh border have been continuing this year but the number of killings declined during the first six months this year compared to same period last year.

According to documentation gathered by Odhikar, during this period, 14 Bangladeshi citizens were killed, 48 injured and 25 abducted allegedly by the BSF. The figure was 17, 49 and five respectively during the same period last year.