Activists Allegedly Shot in the Knees by Police Deserve Justice

Target: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Goal: Open an independent and transparent investigation into allegations of ‘kneecapping,’ or shooting detainees in the knees.

In Bangladesh, members and supporters of opposition parties in police custody have regularly been shot by police, according to a recent Human Rights Watch Report. According to victims of the practice, police blindfolded them and then shot them in the knees, later claiming that the victims were shot in self defense, during violent protests, or in crossfire. At least 25 members and supporters of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e Islami, both opposition parties, have been targeted. Many of the victims have suffered permanent disabilities, with some having to have their legs amputated.

The practice of shooting detainees and arrestees in the the knees, known as ‘kneecapping,’ appears to have been adopted following violent protests in 2013. Human rights activists in Bangladesh have claimed that the practice was adopted to discourage protest. Sign our petition and demand an independent and transparent investigation into these allegations.


Dear Prime Minister Hasina,

I was shocked to read testimony of 25 members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e Islami stating that police officers deliberately shot them in the knee caps, and then misrepresented how the injuries occurred, blaming crossfire, violent protests or claiming self defense. As you may well know these testimonies have been compiled into a Human Rights Watch Report.

Your government has repeatedly stated that you have a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for extrajudicial killings and violence. Accordingly, I urge you to open an independent and transparent investigation into these allegations. In order to facilitate this, I urge you to invite the office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights as a partner in the investigation.

Police violence will only increase if there are no consequences, and the ensuing culture of impunity will make criminals of the police. I urge you to act now, and bring all those responsible for extrajudicial violence to justice.

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: svg

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