“A decade after the killing of the 2 journalists, there’s nonetheless no justice on account of an appalling and pervasive tradition of impunity in Bangladesh,” the 5 UN Particular Rapporteurs mentioned in a press release.
Mr. Sarowar and Ms. Runi, who have been married, have been stabbed to loss of life of their dwelling within the capital, Dhaka, in entrance of their five-year-old son on 12 February 2012.
The consultants mentioned it’s extensively believed they have been focused due to their investigative reporting on corruption in Bangladesh’s vitality sector which they have been about to publish.
Crimes go unpunished
Bangladesh’s Excessive Court docket tasked the Fast Motion Battalion (RAB), the nation’s elite police unit, to research the case.
Final November, the Court docket demanded for the 84th time that RAB ought to submit its findings, which nonetheless has not occurred.
“When crimes in opposition to journalists go unpunished, they embolden the perpetrators and encourage extra assaults, threats and killings with the intention of intimidating the media into silence. We see these deeply worrying indicators in Bangladesh,” the assertion mentioned.
Carry perpetrators to justice
A minimum of 15 journalists have been killed in Bangladesh over the previous decade, in accordance with the UN consultants.
“We urge the federal government to conduct and full immediate, thorough, unbiased and efficient investigations and convey perpetrators to justice for the homicide of Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi and different killings of journalists and human rights defenders in Bangladesh,” their assertion mentioned.
The UN consultants have acquired quite a few experiences of journalists, activists, and members of civil society teams being arbitrarily detained, attacked, kidnapped, threatened, and subjected to judicial harassment.
These incidents seem like hardly ever investigated or prosecuted, and in some instances native authorities are regarded as immediately implicated within the assaults.
Journalism underneath assault
“Journalism shouldn’t carry the inherent threat of being attacked, intimidated or killed with impunity however sadly that’s the present actuality for a lot of journalists, human rights defenders and different members of civil society in Bangladesh,” they mentioned.
The consultants have introduced allegations to the eye of the Authorities which frequently have gone unanswered. Though they wrote to the authorities in 2012 following the homicide of Mr. Sarowar and Ms. Runi, they by no means acquired a response.
They additional expressed concern over repeated delays surrounding the trial into the deadly capturing of journalist and human rights defender Abdul Hakim Shimul in February 2017, allegedly by the then mayor of Shahzadpur. The case has been positioned on a keep order by the Excessive Court docket, with all of the accused on bail.
Additionally they recalled the loss of life in custody final February of dissident author Mushtaq Ahmed, who spent 9 months in pre-trial detention on costs underneath the Digital Safety Act (DSA) for publishing an article that criticised the federal government’s pandemic response.
They mentioned the authorities did not conduct an unbiased and neutral investigation into his loss of life, regardless of his household’s considerations that Mr. Ahmed had been tortured whereas in police custody, and that there was a three-hour delay in admitting him to hospital as soon as he fell sick.
An inside committee established by the House Ministry concluded Mr. Ahmed’s loss of life was pure, with out investigating his household’s claims.
UN consultants raised their considerations with the federal government after they raised their considerations about his loss of life in custody.
Function of Rapporteurs
The 5 Particular Rapporteurs who signed the assertion monitor violations of the proper to freedom of opinion and expression, and points similar to torture and different merciless, inhuman or degrading remedy or punishment.
They’re appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and function of their particular person capability.
They don’t seem to be UN workers or do they obtain a wage from the Group.