The month of March is very significant in the history of Bangladesh. In 1971 the people of this country became resilient against the exploitation and suppression of the West Pakistan regime and developed a struggle for independence in order to destroy the undemocratic rule of West Pakistan. On 25 March 1971, the Pakistani Army attacked the unarmed Bangladeshi civilians and commenced genocide. From 26 March, the people of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) jumped into the liberation struggle and on 16
December 1971 Bangladesh became independent when the Pakistan Army surrendered. The people of this country sacrificed their lives and honour to build a nation based on equality, human dignity and social justice. That goal is yet to be achieved. The people of this country are victims of grave human rights violations. The controversial elections of
5 January 2014 and the subsequent local government elections, deprived the people of
Bangladesh from their right to vote. The opposition political parties and ordinary people are also deprived from the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association. The government has enacted repressive laws and imposing them against dissenters and people who have alternative beliefs. Many people, including leaders and activists of the opposition parties, are becoming victims of enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killing and torture. The government has created a fearful environment in the country by destroying civil and political rights of the citizens. As in previous months, allegations of enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killing and custodial torture of leaders-activists of the opposition parties during remand and death in jail due to lack of treatment, were also reported in March 2018. Odhikar believes that people are losing their confidence and faith in the judicial system due to a dysfunctional criminal justice system, impunity of law enforcement agencies and corruption. Incidents of killings by mob violence continued in March 2018.