Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | ePaper

Commentary

Unusual confession and failing of human rights NGOs

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Prosecution is not wholly a police matter requiring them to hold press conferences on the merit of the case under investigation. It should be a public concern to know who are arrested as accused in a criminal case. But to disclose confessional statements at a press conference held behind the alleged confessor admitting committal of the crime must not be encouraged for fair trial. It is also disturbing for fair trial and violation of the Constitution to obtain confessions while in police custody      
without the presence of his or as happened in the absence her lawyer. Our courts are seen as too generous to the prosecution than to the liberty or the constitutional rights of the accused.
We expect our police, being police working still under a democratic Constitution, should give due consideration to the dictates of the law and justice. Because the genuineness of a confession has to be established before the court of trial.
In our country the practice of obtaining confession while in police custody, though made before a magistrate, should have been an issue for human rights bodies of our country. But they have remained silent. It should have been highly objectionable to the women rights bodies that women are sent to police custody for helplessly interrogating by men police interrogators.
The truth is our human rights bodies are mostly financed by foreign sources and a good business. They look for their own safety first. They talk big when it is about human rights or women rights knowing the mood of the government. Many such human rights bodies, in fact, have paved the way for making human rights violations so easy that denying voting right is not a concern for them. But where the people have no voting right no human right is secure. We are facing a crisis in which not only politics is good business but also for the human rights NGOs.
A Barguna court granted police five days to question Aysha Siddiqa Minni in remand over the murder of her husband Rifat Sharif. The first-year student of Barguna Government Degree College was produced before the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Sirajul Islam Gazi, said Md Humayun Kabir, the investigation officer (IO) of the case.
Minni is the key witness of the murder that took place in front of her college on June 26. Rifat Sharif, a 25-year-old internet service provider, was indiscriminately hacked by a group of youths there. In a video footage of the incident that went viral in the social media, Minni was seen screaming and trying in vain to save her husband from the assailants.
Mozammel Hossain Kishor said his daughter had fallen ill as police abused her mentally throughout the 11-hour long interrogation. He submitted a bail petition to the court on Thursday claiming that his daughter was unwell but got turned down. IO Humayun brushed off Mozammel's claim. He claimed she was arrested because police found her involvement in the murder.
Whatever the fact-whether Minni is innocent or guilty, the fact remains that the  remand culture of the police has to stop. This obnoxious practice of keeping citizens without any recourse to their lawyers or legal personnel for obtaining confession must end.
Abdul Halim Dulal Sharif, father of Rifat and plaintiff of the case, demanded immediate arrest of Minni alleging that she had a hand in the murder. He claimed that Minni had married Sabbir Hossain Nayan alias Nayan Bond, one of the killers, before she tied the knot with his son. Her family had kept the matter a secret, Halim had told a press conference.
If marriage was to be ended by his wife it does not make sense that she should involve herself in a dangerous murder game of a local squad of murderers. Her husband could have been peacefully forced to divorce her. Please it is too much to consider the whole society as fools not deserving to live like a civilised society.
Our appeal to all is not to manipulate the justice for reasons of politics. In the murder of Rifat Sharif powerful political elements coalesced is an admitted fact. Even the OC abetted. So it is important for the prosecution to be above political connivance. What we also want to remind that when the circumstances change and chips are down the cry of help by those who are all powerful now for the protection of law or the fair justice system will not be available.

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