In Bangladesh, 6 men get death sentences in torture, slayings of 2 boys
By Farid Ahmed, for CNN
November 9, 2015
Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) Bangladesh courts on Sunday sentenced six men to death in the torturing and killing of two boys earlier this year in two different cases.
The judgments handed down against the convicted men came in the northeast city of Sylhet and southeast city of Khulna. In both cases, the killings had touched off widespread, angry protests with a demand for bringing the perpetrators to justice.
The separate cases came as Bangladesh has seen an increase in child killings in recent years. Most of the victims have been poor children, and motives for the slayings often have been seemingly minor issues.
Read: 4th Bangladeshi boy attacked, killed
Statistics from Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, a child rights group, show that 191 children were slain in Bangladesh in the first seven months of this year, up from 146 during the same period of 2014, and from 128 in the corresponding period of 2013.
In Sylhet, Judge Akbar Hossain Mridha sentenced four men for killing 13-year-old Samiul Alam Rajon, a vegetable vendor.
“They will be hanged to death,” the judge told a crowded courtroom, referring to defendants Kamrul Islam, Taj Uddin Ahmad, Mayna Miah and Zakir Hossain.
Lynching of boy in Bangladesh sparks protests 01:52
The youth was tied to a pole and beaten to death on a false theft charge on July 8, according to authorities.
A video of boy’s torture was posted on social media, resulting in protests across the country.
In Khulna, Judge Dilruba Sultana sentenced Md Omar Sharif and Mintu Khan to death after they were convicted of killing 12-year-old Rakib Hawlader.
The boy died on August 3 after air was pumped into his body from an air compressor used for inflating tires.
Sharif had employed the youth in a motor workshop, and Sharif became angry when the boy took a job at another shop, authorities said.
National Human Rights member Rezaul Haque read out the report of the \’State of Children-2014 and January-June, 2015\’ at a ceremony organized by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum at Dhaka Reporters\’ Unity on Monday.
Children to be kept out of risky jobs
November 10, 2015
Guests attend a programme sharing a report on the state of children 2014 and Jan-Jun 2015 at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital on Monday. — New Age photo
Speakers at a views-exchange meeting here on Monday underscored the need for stopping children from engaging in hazardous and risky jobs and ensuring equal rights to underprivileged children.
Action for Social Development, a non-governmental organisation, arranged the programme in association with Bread for the World, Germany at CIRDAP auditorium in the city.
Women and children affairs secretary Nasima Begum, ICT division secretary Shyam Sundar Shikder, Bangladesh Shishu Academy director Mosharraf Hossain, Shishu Odhikar Forum director Abdus Shahid Mahmud and Jatiya Konna Shishu Advocacy Forum secretary Nasima Akhter Jolly, among others, spoke at the progrmme held with ASD executive director Zamil H Chowdhury in the chair.
ASD deputy executive director Mozammel Haque presented the keynote paper at the programme.
In his keynote presentation, Mozammel Haque said there are over 40 lakh children involved in household chores who work 15 hours on average a day which is very risky and dangerous for them. ‘But the amount of money they get in return of their labour is very poor as Bangladesh’s labour law does not recognise household work as a profession.’
He also said some 12 lakh children who pass their lives in slums, streets, parks, bus stands, train stations and other open places are deprived of their access to minimum rights.
Noting that the underprivileged children who live in slums and streets get involved in various crimes, including drug peddling and arms dealing, the ASD deputy director called for stopping child labour and ensuring education, nutrition and rehabilitation for these children.
Nasima Akhter urged both the government and NGOs to devise alternative solutions for the working children so that they can continue to support their families.
November 10, 2015
Incidents of child repression have increased alarmingly this year mainly because of the culture of impunity, claims a non-government report.
A total of 62 children were raped between January and June last year while this year in its first six months has experienced 230 child rapes, said the report jointly prepared by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), Terre des Hommes- Nederlands, and World Vision Bangladesh.
Besides, 55 children committed suicide and 136 others were killed in road accidents in 2014 during the aforementioned period while this year has seen 126 suicides and 281 deaths in road accidents. The statistics, prepared on the basis of news reports of 10 national dailies and information of different child rights bodies, was revealed at a press briefing on state of child rights in Bangladesh organized by the three organizations at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.
BSAF Chairperson Emranul Huq Chowdhury said even though around 45 percent of the country’s population are children, there is a lack of political will to protect child rights properly. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Member Kazi Reazul Hoque said the situation would have improved, if the existing laws were enforced strictly. Eminent human rights activist Barrister Sara Hossain suggested that the child rights bodies collect information about child rights violation from police records and courts for preparing more accurate reports on child rights status in the country.
August 15, 2015 , New Age
The children act, passed over two years ago, to ensure children’s welfare and protection, remains almost ineffective as the government failed to make the necessary rules relating to it.
Violence against children, including murders, irrespective of age, sex and class, is increasing day-by-day, but the government yet to set up children courts at all district and metropolitan area, create effective help desks at 617 police stations, and children welfare boards at national, district and upazila levels, as stipulated in the law, said social welfare ministry officials and child rights campaigners.
The government is yet to appoint probation officers at 470 upazilas.
Child rights campaigners blamed lack of will and red tape for the failure to adopt the rules for implementation of the Children Act 2013, passed in the parliament on June 16, 2013, repealing the Children Act of 1974, targeting the benefit of an estimated 70 million children in the country.
Child rights activists said a large number of children were deprived of basic rights. In addition, children were exposed to severe forms of physical and mental violence at home, at work place, in institutions and in other public places.
Child Rights Advocacy Forum in Bangladesh leader and rights activist Sultana Kamal said the law enforcement agencies should work swiftly to curb murders and crimes against children and should take legal measures after arresting the criminals soon.
Child protection officers at UNICEF Bangladesh Shabnaaz Zahereen and Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum director, AS Mahmud, both said effective enforcement of the children act 2013 was hampered due
to the absence of rules.
Social Welfare Ministry secretary Tariq-Ul-Islam said that government is working on adopting rules for the children act. ‘We had sent the draft of the rules to the law ministry about three months ago. Once the law ministry approves it, we will take prompt action’ he said.
Statistics shows a steady rise in the incidents of rape and other sexual abuses of children, particularly female children.
At least 349 children were raped or faced rape attempts in the first seven months of the current year, counting reported incidents. In 2014, 227 children fell victim to rape or other sexual abuses, up from 183 in 2013 and 91 in 2012, according to data compiled by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum.
Most of the victims were in the age group of 13 to 18, according to the forum.
The forum said between January 2012 and June 2015, a total of 235 children were kidnapped and rescued, 199 children were trafficked and rescued, and 468 children faced corporal punishment at educational institutions.
An act is enforced in a legal manner. In context to an act, rules define the guidelines that must be followed for the successful implementation of the act.
The children act has provision for the establishment of at least one children court at all district headquarters and metropolitan areas to deal with children in conflict with the law.
The act has provision for establishment of child welfare boards for children’s care and to monitor, coordinate, review and evaluate the activities of the child development centres and of certified institutes.
According to the act, a probation officer in every district will ascertain the reason for which a child is brought to a police station, to meet the child and assure him that he will be provided with all kinds of assistance.
The children act has provision for establishment of a child affairs desk headed by a child affairs police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector.
Shabnaaz said only 15 probation officers have been appointed so far though the Home Ministry had sent circulars to the all police stations for child affairs police officer. ‘There is no separate desk at any police stations and children courts are yet to be formed,’ she said.
Social Welfare Ministry secretary said absence of rule was not a problem for implementation of law but the rules define the guidelines that must be followed for the successful implementation of the act.
New Age, August 7, 2015
– See more at: http://newagebd.net/144970/child-murders-on-the-rise/#sthash.QmgDne2T.dpuf
The first seven months of the current year witnessed an unprecedented surge in child murders compared to the corresponding periods of two previous years.
Statistics of child rights group Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum shows that 191 children were murdered in the first seven months of the current year, up from 146 during the same period of 2014 and 128 in the corresponding period of 2013. Over the last 55 months 1,714 children were murdered across the country, according to newspaper reports and child rights groups.
Child rights campaigners attributed the spate in child murders to family feuds, conflicts between individuals and groups, property disputes and kidnapping for ransom. Gruesome murders of children over the last one month sent nationwide shockwaves, they said. Rising concerns over child murders need to be seriously addressed by the government, said child rights campaigners. They demanded enforcement of the law without any leniency to protect children from all sorts of violence and crimes. Voicing concern over the situation, Child Rights Advocacy Forum leader Sultana Kamal blamed the country’s pervasive culture of impunity for the growing incidents of violence and murders of children.
The recent incidents of cruel murders of children reflected the condition they are in, said Sultana Kamal, who is also the executive director of the rights group, Ain o Salish Kendra. She called for a social resistance against the unprecedented spate in crimes against the children. UNICEF representative in Bangladesh Edouard Beigbeder described the recent incidents of violence against children including publicly beating them to death at some parts of the country as alarming.
‘UNICEF strongly believes that the Government of Bangladesh will do everything within its power to bring perpetrators to justice and help to end such violence against children,’ he said. Women and children affairs ministry secretary Nasima Begum blamed sick and perverted mindsets of some for the growing incidents of child murders. She said that the government adopted the policy ‘zero tolerance’ against child murders.
As such brutal activities of some perverts are not acceptable all the perpetrators would be brought to justice, she said. Child murders sharply increased in the country over the last three years, said Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum director, AS Mahmud. According to Manusher Jonno Foundation 232 children were murdered in the country in the first seven months of the current year, while the figure for the corresponding period of the previous year was 225. MJF programme coordinator Abdulla Al Mamun said that the murder of 1,709 children from January 2011 to July this year meant that on an average one child became the victim of murder every day. Abdulla Al Mamun and AS Mahmud said that they compiled the data from newspaper reports. And at least five children became victims of murder in the first week of August, reported newspapers. On August 5, Rabiul, 11, was brutally murdered with crowbar blows on his head in Barguna on the allegation that he had stolen a fishing cage. On August 4, the body of a 10-year old unidentified boy was found in an abandoned suitcase on the Dhaka Medical College campus.
On the night of August 3, Mohammod Rakib, 12, died in Khulna after his former employer pumped air through his rectum for taking job at another car repair workshop. On August 1, Moumi, 5 and Tayibar, 3, died following poisoning by their mother before she committed suicide in Barguna. These killings occurred as the nation finds it hard to recover from the outrageous cold blooded murder of 13-year-old Samiul Alam Rajan in Sylhet on July 8. The assailants mercilessly beat Rajan to death using metal rods, recorded the incident on video and posted on social media. UNICEF’s child protection officer Shabnaaz Zahereen urged the government to deal child murders with iron hand and demanded stringent enforcement of the law to bring the offenders to book. Dhaka University psychology professor Muhammad Kamal Uddin blamed lack of tolerance for the gruesome child murders. Child murders leave a negative impact on other children who could develop fear psychosis and mistrust of others, he said. Perpetrators of such heinous crimes are not listed criminals, said additional inspector general of police Nazrul Islam. ‘The police are keeping a watchful eye against child murders but we cannot provide security in every home and work place,’ he said. He underlined the importance of raising social awareness for the prevention of child murders.
Mohammad Jamil Khan, Published: 01:40 august 7, 2015, The Dhaka Tribune
These are probably the worst times to live and grow up as a child in Bangladesh.
In March, police recovered the dead bodies of two little girls in Chapainawabganj and later found that the hearts were missing from the corpses.
In June 2010, six-year-old Shamiul was killed by his mother and her lover and his body was kept inside a refrigerator in Dhaka.
Those who thought after these incidents that humanity could not stoop any lower, the more recent cases of Rajon, Rakib and the unnamed dead boy stuffed inside a suitcase should give them more reasons to feel ashamed.
Nearly a month have passed, but investigators have yet to press charges for the murder of 12-year-old Rajon which was committed in broad daylight in the outskirts of Sylhet city.
On July 8 morning, claiming that the little boy was a thief, a group of five to six people tied Rajon to a pole and beat him up brutally, leading to his death. In a display of unfathomable audacity, the killers also recorded the incident on a mobile phone camera.
In the following days, police arrested most of the culprits – all of whom have confessed – but have not managed to press charges until yesterday because one of the prime accused, who fled to Saudi Arabia after the incident, could not be repatriated.
The more recent murder of another 12-year-old working child named Rakib in Khulna seems to be straight out of the pages of a psycho thriller.
On Monday, just because the kid had taken a job in another motor garage, his former employer and two other men killed the boy by injecting air through his rectum using a pipe.
In a separate incident one day later in Dhaka, the dead body of an unidentified boy was recovered from an abandoned suitcase in Shahbagh. Police said the boy, aged around 10, was probably a domestic aid. Post mortem reports said there were injury marks all over his body and he was probably sexually assaulted before being killed.
Yesterday, a man named Miraj confessed before a magistrate court in Barguna that he had beaten a 11-year-old boy named Rabiul. Police recovered the little boy’s body from the banks of a canal in Amkhola village of Taltali upazila in the district on Monday. Rabiul was killed because he allegedly stole Miraj’s fish.
Last month, newborn Magura girl Suraiya proved wrong the old saying that a mother’s womb is the safest place for a child. Not anymore because the infant, who still had more than a month to be born, was hit by a bullet when political criminals shot her pregnant mother.
In a rare breakthrough, a court in Rangpur yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing a schoolboy in December 2013. Convict Bande Ali, 50, killed his employer’s tenth grader son Ratan Chandra Roy because the boy had seen him stealing their cattle and for that he lost his job.
Yesterday, police in Munshijanj arreted a man named Abul Hossain, 45, for the killing of his 15-year-old daughter Sumaiya just because she had an affair with a young man from their village. Six months ago, the girl’s skeleton was found inside a sack in Sholoani village in Gazaria upazila of the district. Abul confessed during interrogation that he had killed his daughter.
These two incidents are only exceptions and therefore should not give the idea that law enforcers solve child murder cases everyday.
Data compiled by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) and Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL) shows that as many as 968 children were killed in the last three and a half years across the country. Among them, 191 child were killed only in the first seven months of this year.
In fact, apart from the Rangpur verdict, none of the other 967 cases have seen trials completed, let alone anyone getting punished.
Even police have said that recent spike in brutality against children is unprecedented.
Farida Yeasmin, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s women protection wing, told the Dhaka Tribune: “At present, we are witnessing more brutality against children than ever before probably because people have lost their respect for law.”
The data compiled by police headquarters also shows that there has been an overall rise in child repression. A total of 10,324 cases have been registered under the woman and child repression act in the last six months across the country.
BSAF Director AS Mahmood said: “There are economic and social reasons behind such brutalities. In most cases, the poor and the weak are the worst sufferers. In almost all the cases, the abusers turn out to be the one with the muscles and nothing happen to them even if their crimes are obvious. Many are brutalising children just for pleasure.”
According to data provided by rights body Manusher Jonno Foundation, as many as 201 children were killed and 70 raped in the first six month of this year.
Prof Zia Rahman, chairman of Dhaka University’s criminology department, explains: “People are now entering the era of globalisation. Newer styles and techniques of brutalising children are being applied along with the process of rapid urbanisation.
“If authorities cannot ensure exemplary punishment for the accused, soon things will be difficult to control,” he warned.
Monirul Islam, chief of police’s Detective Branch (DB), thinks that only punishing the culprits will not be enough.
“This is not just a question of punishment. Social and family values have to be highlighted through awareness raising programmes. People must be encouraged to come forward in helping their neighbours at times of distress.”
In a statement issued yesterday, the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) expressed alarm at the recent spike in violence against children in Bangladesh.
“UNICEF strongly believes that the Government of Bangladesh will do everything within its power to bring perpetrators to justice and help to end such violence against children.
“It is important to note that due to the pervasive and proactive media coverage on child rights issues, incidences of child abuse, beating and even killing are now coming under sharp focus,” said Unicef representative Edouard Beigbeder.
JS body’s suggestions
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children Affairs Ministry yesterday suggested the government to ensure exemplary punishment for the culprits of the recent incidents of child repressions and killings.
At its 15th meeting at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, the committee also suggested the ministry concerned to taken stern actions against the oppressors and rapists.
– See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/aug/07/brutality-unprecedented#sthash.PhEZdvT2.dpuf
August 06, 2015, Daily Star
Rights bodies call for zero tolerance
August 06, 2015, Daily Star
The government should implement zero tolerance policy against child abusers irrespective of their political or social connection or financial power, said speakers yesterday.
Referring to the torture and death of Rajon in Sylhet and Rakib in Khulna, members of Child Rights Advocacy Coalition in Bangladesh said the prevalent culture of impunity is a factor behind such crimes.
The strong oppressing the weak has become a part of the country’s culture, said Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain o Salish Kendra, a member of the coalition.
At a press conference at Jatiya Press Club, the coalition, a network of 10 development, non-government and international organisations, condemned the murder of 12-year-old Rakib.
“We don’t value children enough,” said Michael McGrath, country director of Save the Children.
“Many people see them as the most exploitable, the most easily manipulated, cheap labour, easier to trick,” he said.
He suggested creating a “National Child Protection System” under the social welfare ministry. Wilfred Sikukula, group director (programs) at World Vision, Bangladesh said children are being used as commodities that adults feel they can expend as they please.
He said if these incidents were not properly investigated and resolved, then the future of the country would be threatened with loss of humanity.
Abdus Shahid Mahmood, director of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, called for enactment of a Children Protection Policy.
“The government must ensure punishment,” said Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of a civil rights body, Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik.
The coalition demanded that the cases of Rajon and Rakid murders are brought under speedy trial tribunal and exemplary punishment meted out to the killers.
They also suggested forming a committee led by a High Court judge and coordinated by the National Human Rights Commission, to monitor these two cases till completion of the trials.
Representatives from Terre des Hommes, Netherlands and Plan Bangladesh also spoke at the programme. Meanwhile, several other rights organisations expressed grave concern over the rise of incidents of torture and murder of
children and also urged for exemplary punishment for the culprits.
In a press release, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad condemned the incidents that led to Rajon and Rakib’s deaths.
In another statement, Manusher Jonno Foundation said social apathy over these incidents paves the way for their recurrence.
At a separate press conference at Jatiya Press Club, Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Women Lawyer’s Association, said the government cannot avoid its responsibility by terming the murders “stray incidents”.
Bangladesh’s child killing rate goes up alarmingly
August 08, 2015 / Daily Star
The rate of children being killed in the country had increased by 61 percent in 2014 than that of the previous year, according to a statistics of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) and it’s not looking good at all for this year either.
Based on newspapers’ reports, the BSAF said at least 191 children were killed till this July, 350 in 2014, 218 in 2013 and 209 in 2012.
The leading network of child rights organisation expressed concern, saying incidents of brutalities against children in different forms are increasing every year. At least 968 children were killed after brutal torture from 2012 to July 2015.