Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
No justice after police killings: Amnesty
Govt fails to act on abuses, according to annual report
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- May 24, 2012
Despite a government pledge to end extrajudicial killings, law enforcement agents have not been adequately brought to justice for deaths or beatings, the London-based international human rights watchdog said in its annual State of the Worldâ€™s Human Rights Report released yesterday.
â€śIn many cases, family members told Amnesty that victims died after being arrested by the RAB and not in an encounter as the RAB claimed. The authorities failed to investigate these incidents credibly,â€ť the report said in its Bangladesh chapter.
RAB officers allegedly killed at least 54 people in 2011, bringing the total number of people killed by the group since 2004, when the RAB was formed, to more than 700, the report said.
The report offers several examples, including a case in which a man, Limon Hossain, was shot in the leg by RAB officers who claimed he was a member of a criminal gang and that he was injured when RAB officers returned fire after the gang shot at them.
Hossain said he was alone, bringing cattle home, when RAB personnel arrested and shot him.
The conclusions of a separate government inquiry â€“ never made public â€“ reportedly confirmed his claim, but Hossain was charged with trying to kill the RAB officers.
In addition to the shootings, at least three people died in police custody last year, allegedly after being tortured. No charges have been filed, though the government announced that it would bring those responsible to justice.
The rights group also said the government has also failed to prevent confiscation of tribal peoplesâ€™ land by Bengali settlers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Tribal people told Amnesty delegates visiting the area in March that Bengali settlers, emboldened by the armyâ€™s tolerance of their actions, had set fire to tribal homes, usually in clear sight of soldiers or other law enforcement personnel, without being stopped.
One bright spot for Bangladesh could have been the new National Women Development Policy, a plan to provide medical treatment, legal assistance and counseling to abused women and children.
However, Amnesty reports that authorities failed to implement the plan and many female and young victims of violence were receiving no support from state institutions.
Overall, Amnestyâ€™s report painted a grim portrait of rights abuses around the world.
â€śFailed leadership has gone global in the last year,â€ť said Amnesty Interntional Secretary General Salil Shetty. "Governments must show legitimate leadership and reject injustice by protecting the powerless and restraining the powerful. It is time to put people before corporations and rights before profits."
Settlers burn Bangladesh village
Violence against women in Bangladesh rising