A LEADING rights group yesterday accused Bangladeshi authorities of abusing and torturing many of the 6,000 border guards held over a mutiny in 2009 and denying some of them a fair trial.
Human Rights Watch said in a report that 47 suspects had died in custody and that "detainees were subjected to beatings, often on the soles of their feet or palms of their hands, and to electric shock".
"Some victims described being hung upside down from the ceiling," the report said, adding that "many of those who survived the torture suffered long-term physical ailments, including kidney failure and partial paralysis".
At least 74 people, including senior army officers, were killed during the February 2009 mutiny that began when soldiers at the Bangladeshi Rifles headquarters in the capital Dhaka went on a killing spree. Bangladeshi authorities have jailed more than 4,000 soldiers for offences committed during the nationwide mutiny, while 2,000 more are on trial or awaiting further court proceedings.
Of those on trial, 800 are soldiers charged with murder and attempted murder, for which they could be sentenced to death by hanging.
The mutiny, sparked by pent-up anger among lower rank soldiers, spread across Bangladesh, with thousands taking up arms against commanding officers. AFP
Thursday, July 5, 2012
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