Torture Video Shows Need to Protect Bangladeshis Crossing India Border, says Amnesty International

Press Release
January 20, 2012

Torture Video Shows Need to Protect Bangladeshis Crossing India Border, says Amnesty International

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) -- The suspension of eight guards of India's Border Security Force (BSF) for torturing a Bangladeshi caught on the border is not a sign that human rights violations are being addressed, Amnesty International said today.

"This incident of apparent torture is only the tip of the iceberg - dozens of Bangladeshis are believed to be tortured or ill-treated after being picked up by Indian border security guards every month," said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International's Bangladesh researcher. "That eight Indian guards have been suspended is not in itself a sign that BSF officials are on the look out to address human rights violations - these guards were suspended only after the video footage was aired by Indian TV, embarrassing the BSF."

"Many such incidents take place with no action taken against the Indian border guards because the victims do not dare to speak out for fear of repercussions," said Faiz. "Many of the people who cross this border have families on both sides. The Bangladeshi government has lodged a complaint with the Government of India but this should not be the end of the story -- Bangladesh must keep the pressure on India to take decisive steps to protect Bangladeshi citizens, and prevent such incidents from recurring."   

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom and dignity are denied.

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