Friday, October 2, 2009


Bangladeshis protest 'crossfire' killings before UN Sec. General

By Bangladesh Media; Bangladeshi students in Sweden demonstrated on Thursday against the extra-judicial killing in so-called crossfire back home during the UN secretary-general's visit to Uppsala University in Sweden.

Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is in Sweden for talks with Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen.

Ban was invited by the Uppsala University to address students, teachers, journalists and senior public officials.

In the afternoon, he delivered a lecture in the Uppsala University Student House on 'Global challenges in times of crisis'.

About 800 students, teachers, journalists and senior public officials were present in his lecture session.

After the programme while the UN chief was leaving the university premises, some Bangladeshi students who attended the lecture carrying a banner that read: 'UN, Stop Extra Judicial Killing in Bangladesh!" staged a brief, peaceful protest.

Anwar Hossain, a research student of journalism at Stockholm University, quoted the UN boss as telling them: "We are concerned about that and we will see."

Hossain said, "In Bangladesh where a sound judicial system has been working for many decades, extra-judicial killings are by no means justifiable and are purely against the very idea of rule of law and justice and democracy."

"Extra-judicial killing is direct violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 declared by United Nations."

"Nobody is criminal until proven so in court. Society makes their life miserable, leading them to commit crimes. There are so many reasons behind that like poverty. Killing them bypassing judicial system is a liability that the society cannot escape," Hossain said.

Mahtab Shaon, who is studying law at Stockholm University, said, "No extra-judicial punishment can root out crime from any society."

Another Bangladeshi student, Obaidul Haque of Uppsala University, expects that "Bangladesh government will immediately take the initiative to stop the extra-judicial killings in the name of crossfire and fulfil their election manifesto."

In Uppsala, Ban started his visit by laying wreaths at the Dag Hammarskjöld's grave in the old cemetery.

Hammarskjold, from Uppsala, Sweden, was the secretary general of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961.

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