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Sunday, 15 September, 2002, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
UN critical of Bangladesh justice
Police standing in street in Bangladesh
Police are hindered by lack of training

The United Nations has issued a detailed report that strongly urges the Bangladeshi government to reform the country's criminal justice system.

The 120-page report expresses concern about the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.

It says that, in Bangladesh, today many laws and practices of the criminal justice system discriminate against over 75% of the population

It also says that poor people, the majority of whom earn less than two dollars a day, are particularly at a disadvantage when dealing with the police

Strong indictment

The Human Security in Bangladesh report, written on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, is a strong indictment of Bangladesh's criminal justice system.
Women at a rally protesting against acid attacks on women
Women: Victims of crime and the justice system

It is published at a time when there is mounting concern over the breakdown of law and order in the country.

The present government came to power last year pledging to reduce escalating levels of violent crime in urban areas.

The report says that police effectiveness is being hindered by lack of training, poor motivation, under-staffing and budgetary constraints.

Monitoring

It goes on to say this can only be remedied by improving monitoring of the police services and by providing training that is more orientated towards the disadvantaged.

Another key finding in the report is that crimes against women, including acid attacks, murder, rape and trafficking, fail to get adequate attention and are a serious social and economic problem.

It says that more should be done to raise awareness about violence against women, while poor people should be better informed about their rights in police custody.

The report urges the government to review legislation that enables the police to arrest and detain suspects, as these laws are often misused.

It also says the overwhelming majority of detention cases that come before the High Court were made illegally.

See also:

13 May 02 | South Asia
16 Feb 02 | South Asia
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