Information transmitted to the Government
40. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur informed the Government that he had received reports concerning incidents of torture perpetrated by members of the military and paramilitary forces against tribal people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, as well as by the police in other parts of the country. According to this information, torture in police custody occurred routinely but was rarely reported as the victims feared further ill-treatment by the police. It usually involved beating with sticks and rifle butts, as well as kicking with boots on sensitive parts of the body.
41. The incidence of rape in custody was reported to be high but, because of the social stigmatization faced by the victim, it usually went unreported. The legal requirement that rape had to be reported within 12 hours also made it difficult for the victim to file a complaint.
42. There were also reports about cases of death in custody as a result of torture. According to them, whenever a detainee died in police custody, the police were obliged to file an "unnatural death case", which necessitated a police inquiry into the death. To avoid this, the police had sometimes transferred the bodies of people who had died after torture to hospital, putting pressure on medical staff to have them falsely admitted as alive.
43. The individual cases described in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.
44. Mominuddin Ahmed was arrested by uniformed police officers at his residence on 18 August 1992 and taken to the Kotwali police station in Rangpur. When his wife visited him two hours later in the police station, he could only speak with effort and told her that he had been severely kicked in the chest and stomach. He died in Rangpur Medical College Hospital on 1 September 1992.
45. Momina Khatum died of her injuries on 31 August 1992 in the village of Bazra Hat, Noahkali district, after a group of police officers reportedly subjected her to severe beating. An inquiry is reported to have taken place into the incident.
46. Finally, the Special Rapporteur drew the attention of the Government to the case of Nazrul Islam, who was reportedly 12 years old when he was arrested in 1980 and convicted of robbery. In December 1992 the High Court allegedly found that he had been illegally detained and that for 11 of these 12 years he had been held in leg irons.
Information received from the Government with respect to cases included in previous reports
47. On 6 April 1993 the Government provided the Special Rapporteur with information on the cases referred to below, which had been communicated to it on 12 November 1992.
48. The incidents which took place in Bheramara, Kushtia district, on 25 March 1991 when members of the Range Reserve Police Force allegedly arrested five persons and severely beat them. The Government informed the Special Rapporteur that following an altercation between some members of the public and a group of law enforcement officials who were on duty there, an unpleasant incident had taken place at Bheramara on 26 March 1992. One person died in the incident owing to gunfire by the armed personnel on duty. A committee of inquiry headed by an Additional District Magistrate had been established by the Government. On enquiry, 22 persons were found guilty and were dismissed from government service.
49. Milan Kanti Chakma, Upali Chakma, Syamal Kanti Chakma, Dipankar Chakma and Bimalendu Chakma, were allegedly subjected to torture in the Koakhali army camp on 20 March 1992. The Government informed the Special Rapporteur that these persons had been summoned to the camp in the context of an inquiry relating to extortion of monetary contributions for a terrorist organization, putting up posters on behalf of terrorist organizations, purchasing supplies for terrorists and illegal possession of firearms. They had been released on the same day, after questioning. They had not been subjected to any physical or mental torture. The allegations of beatings, application of electric shock, infusion of hot water through the nose or hanging from trees, were totally false.
50. Silcham Chakma, Master Kamal Chakma, Barpeda Chakma, Priyalal Chakma, Kula Mohan Chakma and Pindu Mohan Chakma, were allegedly subjected to torture in the Champatali Camp, in Ghagra zone, on 20 May 1992. The Government informed the Special Rapporteur that none of these persons had ever been arrested or brought to the Champatali camp in Ghagra zone and that the allegations were totally false and fabricated.
51. Bina Chakma, Mita Khisa, Rakhi Sona Khisa, Kakuna Chakma, Royna Chakma, Urbasi Chakma and Tipu Rani Chakma, were allegedly raped on 14 March 1992 by members of the Chowdhuri Chara army camp. The Government informed the Special Rapporteur that only three women, Rakhi Soma Khisa, Royna Chakma and Tipu Rani Chakma could be found in Krishmachara village. The villagers were unaware of the existence of the other four women. These three women had reported that a mobile patrol visited the area on 14 March 1992 and alleged that the members of the patrol beat them. They could not, however, substantiate or provide any evidence of such beating. There were no allegations of rape.