(Hong Kong, November 6, 2013): The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) has published a new book titled, “Human Rights and Governance: Bangladesh” edited by Md Shariful Islam, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Dhaka, and contributed by eleven authors, including the editor, in nine chapters. The edited volume is an outcome of an ALRC project titled, “Corruption, Torture and Extrajudicial Killing in BANGLADESH: Examining the Role of State Institutions” that took place mostly between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

As the excerpt of the book puts it:

So long as democracy is understood in terms of the guarantee of basic human rights, this is crucially important to examine whether space for democracy at all exists within the governance or behavioral pattern of the State. In its search for human rights in governance mechanisms, this edited volume brings under scrutiny existing institutions, laws and procedures of the Bangladesh State. In setting a parameter, three major violations seriously jeopardizing the people’s democratic aspirations – corruption, torture and extrajudicial killing – have mostly been taken into consideration. Chapter 1, as introductory chapter of the book, attempts to portray an overall institutional framework of the State machinery and contextualize issues dealt with in the subsequent chapters. Although international human rights regime predominantly addresses violations by the State, corruptions in private sectors and cruelty to women in the private spheres have been analyzed in chapters 4 and 8 respectively. Such issues have been incorporated given the alarming frequency and gravity of the problems and their pertinence to the question of State’s responsibility. This is not intended to deal with the theoretical debates pertaining to governance, but rather the behavioral patterns of the State have been examined.

The ALRC launches this book at a time when the Bangladeshi ruling elites’ persistent denial of people’s craving for a just society and State has resulted in a deep-seated political crisis. In this release, some of Bangladesh’s sensitive minds have unravelled a ‘pseudo-democracy’ where institutions, laws and procedures are invoked to perpetuate corruption, torture and killing. In moving forward, authors have mapped out remedial measures. The ALRC has published print and online versions of the book simultaneously aiming at a wider audience.

In 2010, the ALRC published another book on Bangladesh, “Politics–Corruption Nexus in BANGLADESH: An Empirical Study of the Impacts on Judicial Governance”, which was an outcome of an ALRC-supported empirical research project.

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