ASIA: Protection from extrajudicial executions requires functioning justice Institutions

An Oral Statement to the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. President.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) reiterates that in Asian states like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, extrajudicial execution is used with impunity by the armed forces and the police.

In Bangladesh the law-enforcement agencies have extra-judicially executed 22 persons within last 19 days. This includes suspects in the assassination of blogger Mr. Avijit Roy in February 2015 and the suspect who attacked a Hindu college teacher on 14 June 2016. These executions indicate that the government want to protect the real perpetrators of targeted killings going on in that country.

Across Asia, criminal justice institutions condone brutal crackdowns on citizens and use extrajudicial executions exploiting the ‘national security’ excuse. State agencies involved are provided with statutory or implied impunity.

Many member states of this Council train, equip, and financially support, through bilateral agreements, Asian states and their armed police and paramilitary units that carryout these violations. The incentives are such that in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, military units and civilian security forces compete with each other in the number of persons they kill in alleged encounters.

Asian governments have subjugated their criminal justice institutions to serve the singular role of approving state actions without exception. Courts in Thailand, China, Bangladesh, and Myanmar have no independence and have repeatedly refused to discipline state agencies.

The criminal justice frameworks are in such a weak state even judges fear the state’s death squads. Yet the only hope to protect the lives and freedoms lie with these institutions.

The ALRC therefore calls upon the Council and Special Procedures to engage with the Asian states, specifically with the criminal justice institutions, to help these institutions become professional, independent, and capable. We request extra effort from Council to develop a nuanced understanding about the challenges faced by these Asian institutions.

In this effort, the ALRC also urges this Council to support the Special Procedures mandates.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Webcast video: Link. (Please scroll down to number 26 to click on Asian Legal Resource Centre).

About Admin

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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