Human Rights Watch (HRW) of Asia has urged the government of Bangladesh to order a re-trial of 847 military personnel accused of murder, sexual assault, and other atrocities during the 2009 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny, claiming fair trial standards were violated in the case.
Asia director at HRW Brad Adams said Bangladeshi authorities should commission a review of BDR trials and verdicts trial, and then initiate a more credible inquiry and prosecution process. He further said that trying hundreds of people in one giant courtroom, where the accused have little or no access to lawyers, is an affront to international legal standards.
The violations include torture and other abuse on the detainees, while in custody, in order to extract confessions and statements. HRW report revealed that at least 47 suspects had died in custody.
The members of the BDR, now renamed as the Bangladesh Border Guards, mutinied against their commanding officers at the central Dhaka headquarters in Pilkhana Barracks on February 25 and 26, 2009.
The mutiny led to the killing of 74 people, including 57 army officers, and a number of women suffered sexual assault.