March 16, 2005


There have been much controversy about the legitimacy of the rapid action battalion's (RAB) activities. Some say that they are eliminating (literally) the criminals and doing a better job as the police could not control them. Some say that killing without a trial is illegal as anybody is not guilty until proven in the eye of the law.

Now what is the law according to the government? A long battle of the court and the government about separating the judiciary from government administration is still running on. In a recent speech, the communication minister said that the directives the High Court gave to Parliament and government on the separation of judiciary from the executive was unconstitutional. He said none can give any directives to national Parliament. That means the lawmakers of the parliament can be above law. Are they in other countries of the world? And they have the privilege also to make amendments to the law and constitution according to their agenda as they have majority.

The media is much at the firing range these days. Journalists of two national dailies were sued for court contempt after they have published a report that one Additional Judge's law graduation certificate was counterfeit. In an argument the lawyer of the accused said "If the court awards punishment to journalists, where will they get shelter?"

In fact they have no where to hide. Every now and then they are being threatened, intimidated for exposing the truth. There are also some yellow journalism trying to deviate from the truth, prompting accusations against them.

In a recent incident Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members assaulted the chief photojournalist of the daily Jugantor (a pro govt. Bengali daily) for taking snaps while they were beating up three youths on the street. Even after showing his identity, he was beaten up severely and intimidated: "Don't you know we are RAB? How dare you take snaps without taking our permission?"

The gist of all is they want people to fear the government, fear the RAB. They want us to forget what we have learnt in the religious studies "Fear no one but God." Freedom of speech should exist only when it is pro government. Law should be nothing but a slave of the government.


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