Human rights of police in bangladesh

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Chapter one: Introduction and overview

1.1: General Introduction:

Police rights and police history has been a subject of limited interest to the scholars of criminal justice, labor history and industrial relations across the world (Baker, 1999). Whenhuman rights of police are prescribed and debated, the issue creates much controversy and draws strong reaction from the academician, human rights experts, police controlling authority and public (Marks & Fleming, 2006). Police are usually perceived as state agents that serve the interest of the government.

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They think that police are bound to respect human rights of the population they serve while performing duties and functions specifically during using force, arresting and detention. The members of the police force often claim that they have equal rights and privilege similar to other citizens in addition to their duties and responsibilities. Apparently, there is a clear split between two poles – on the one hand each citizen or criminal, whose rights must be respected and protected, and on the other hand the police officers who have no rights, responsibility only. This partisan may prompt another debate on whether the police officers have less or more rights and obligations then the rest of the citizens. But it is totally incorrect that police officers have obligations only but no rights. Police are also citizen entitled to the same rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship (Bruce & Neild 2005). They are also protected by the same human rights standards (Feiner, 2009). If police are expected to defend democracy and human rights, they should not be denied basic democratic and basic rights (Marks & Fleming, 2006). The rights of police officers are constrained by regional, national, and international regulatory frameworks (Marks and Fleming 2006). Sometimes their rights are reduced to such a level that they do not have many basic rights as a citizen in many countries.

In Bangladesh, the rights of police officers also seem to be ill-understood and neglected on both intellectual and state level. The prolonged struggle of the police officers for the realization of the rights is not well-documented either in the academic or popular literature. The existing literature, human rights publications and the media while discussing about democratic policing often refer to the police accountability, civilianization of policing, policing outcomes and performance measurement, and community participation and partnerships but they hardly mention about the human rights of the police officers like other citizens of the country. As a result, the rights of police officers are subject to a wide range of violations in and outside the organization. The widespread violation of police rights varies from economic and social rights to civil and political rights, from individual level to collective level. This study attempted to investigate the economic and social rights violations of the police officers by narrowing down its focus only on the working environment they operate.

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