BANGLADESH: Land grabber and eye gouger Major Mustafizur is still serving with the Bangladesh army 

Basil Fernando

The attack on FMA Razzak led by Major Mustafizur of the Bangladesh military (BANGLADESH: Army officer’s family gouges eyes and torture after kidnapping Human Rights Defender FMA Razzak, who is going to die without treatment due to pressures from armed forces and intelligence agencies) is now well known. The implications of military officers using their power for land grabbing and the use of brutal violence on people deserves some reflection.

The job of a military officer is to defend his country under the command of his higher officers and for this purpose the tax payers of Bangladesh pay such officers their salaries. The position carries responsibilities. Among such responsibilities one of the most important ones is not to meddle in the lives of the civilians or to abuse his position for personal advantage.

Military officers for the purpose of their duties carry arms and this in itself imposes greater duties on them in their relationship with the rest of the population. Due to their right to carry and use these weapons the general population have some fear of such officers. It is therefore their obligation not to exploit such fear but, in fact, to create a contrary impression of trust and confidence in the people.

Great discipline is expected from officers of any armed forces and the higher ranking officers have the duty to ensure such discipline. Within the armed forces those who break this discipline are normally punished harshly.

However, what is manifested in Bangladesh regarding the discipline of the military through the series of incidents in which Major Mustafizurv is involved with regard to FMA Razzak, is a very dismal picture. Here, Major Mustafizurv is involved in land grabbing and for that purpose he had brutally attacked many persons, flouting all laws over a long period of time. These attacks have now culminated in his use of a gang of criminals for extremely violent acts, the latest being the attempted murder of Mr. Razzak and the gouging of his eyes.

Major Mustafizurv’s behavior has been reported, not only to his military superiors, but also to the government. Complaints have been made many times by FMA Razzak himself, his family members and several human rights organizations.

However Major Mustafizurv is still wearing his military uniform and remains in the military. Is this due to such behavior not being considered inconsistent with military conduct in Bangladesh? Or, is Major Mustafizurv’s behavior common kind among the country’s military officers?

Document Type : Article
Document ID : AHRC-ART-027-2011
Countries : Bangladesh,
Issues : Human rights defenders, Land rights, Rule of law, Threats and intimidation, Torture,