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Bangladesh: No excuse for police violence and intimidation on unarmed members of the public | editorial, Dhaka Tribune

10 August 2014

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Dhaka Tribune, August 10, 2014

Stop the rule of the baton

Tribune Editorial

There is no excuse for violence and intimidation on unarmed members of the public

We strongly disapprove of the excessive use of force displayed by the police, while dispersing protests by those supporting the Tuba Group workers on hunger strike.

The workers, who were demanding their overdue wages and festival bonuses, were subjected to unnecessary force from rubber bullets, teargas canisters, and water cannons. Several photojournalists at the scene were also injured from all the chaos.

The police actions while charging at the workers exhibited hostile and unprofessional attitudes with much use of foul and abusive language. Disturbingly, it was reported that some police personnel threatened to rape protesters if they refused to disperse from the area.

There is no excuse for our law enforcement to exhibit such unlawful behaviour.

The level of violence and intimidation imposed on unarmed members of the public during this protest amounts to a gross mishandling of the situation and is completely beyond the pale.

It shows that members of the police force lack any awareness of the rights of the public, and habitually resort to brutality and coercion.

Our law enforcers need improved sensitivity training to help officers uphold law and order by consent.

Authorisation to use deadly force should be limited only to those situations where it is truly needed, rather than being called on as a first resort. Charging at unarmed citizens with batons, as in the case of Tuba garments, is not justified. To this end, police need to be trained on what constitutes a proportional and valid response, and how to sensibly and professionally deal with these types of incidents.

— See original at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/editorial/2014/aug/10/stop-rule-baton