The prison and poor people: justice is a failure
By Jahangir Alam Akash, The people of Bangladesh are craving for justice, peace and indiscrimination. They don’t want to suffer under poverty, torture, corruption and inhuman social structure. But they are always surrounded by injustice, discrimination, oppression and persecutions. The main reason of this evil and inhuman situation is the state. The fundamental-militants, terrorists and political opportunists are also responsible but they are, more or less, supported by the state. They have also direct links with the different government machineries and the influential political groups. The poor and common people are always suffering from all these evil forces. Bangladesh has received thousands of billions foreign aids since its Independence internationally and non-government organisations. But most of the money have been misused through corruptions and nepotism. In the politics, in the government machineries and in the field of NGOs (non-government organisations) there is no democratic system. There may be some exceptions but they are very few.
In general, 80 percent people have no financial ability to get education for their children. The politicians are a tiny minority in the country. They are enjoying almost all the resources of the country. They can give teaching and arrange other facilities for their children. They send their children abroad for higher and better education. Most of the politicians and the members of the parliament often visit foreign countries with the public money. But they do not learn from their visits abroad and to introduce the positive matters, they saw, in our country.
No justice, no human rights, absence of rule of law and the practice of democracy have pushed our country to the total decadence.
People find everywhere corruption, dishonesty, immorality and discriminations. These horrible situations are not created by the people. Those who are running the state and both government and opposition-parties are responsible for this. Educated persons are also mostly corrupted. There might be some politicians, MP and academicians who honest. But they are mostly helpless (as they are minority) and can do nothing in spite of their good wishes and honesty. The reason is that the total system of the state is criminalised. The general people are quite helpless.
Genius or meritorious students are not staying in the country. After obtaining local university degrees, most of them go abroad. They find no scope in the country. They are not getting appropriate jobs. If anyone has a link with the influential politicians, MPs or Ministers, then he gets a good job. Or it can be possible with a huge amount of bribery. So the country is having brain-drains regularly. Though, the government spends a lot of money for educating one with various degrees, technical qualifications. Without money or influence you can’t get a suitable job..
As a professional journalist I have gathered some practical experience from Bangladesh. Personally I was in the prison twice. When I was staying inside the jail then I have seen the piles of corruptions there. The prison authority has been involved with money business. The authority has been collecting money from the general detainees. In this malfunction they have been misusing the oldest detainees or convicted people. Inside the prison there is no practice of human rights. The detainees are staying there under unbearable inhuman situation.
In 2007 I had the experience of Rajshahi central jail practically. Officially there was a prison capacity of about 1,300. But more than 3,000 detainees in that time were staying. There are 67 prisons in Bangladesh. Government sources tell the total prisoner-capacities to be about 28,668 people. But at present there are about 72,000 prisoners are in Bangladesh. So it is overcrowded and with an unimaginable situation. In the prisons there are no adequate bathrooms, toilets. The foods which are provided by the authority are not eatable.
The sleeping materials are unclean and dirty. So, most of the detainees have skin diseases. Personally I was in Jail for 28 days in Rajshahi. But after being freed from the prison I had also skin disease.
Every prison has a medical centre. But the doctors, Pharmacists and other workers in this centre are all corrupts. If you are ill and you have no money or you don’t agree to pay the doctor then you wouldn’t be admitted. On the other hand if you are not sick but you want to go to the prison hospital, with an agreement of payment, Doctor will admit you. The doctor takes a bribe of
4, 000, – taka per month. If you pay the amount to the doctor, you can get a permanent residency in the prison hospital as an ill-detainee. Every detainee wants to be admitted in the hospital. Because the authority is provide better foods to the sick in the Hospital than the others in the hospital. The prison- visit- system is not also appreciable.
It is the same in the government (Charitable) hospitals for the poor people. Most of the doctors do not care for their routine duties. They are not happy in the Hospital-service. Private practices are more lucrative. In the rural area, this picture is far more deplorable. The doctors do not come in hospitals or health complexes in due time. Most of the doctors think of working in the towns. There might be some few exceptions but it does not help the entire population.
The poor people have to suffer greatly in the court. They are to pay in the local courts. People are compelled to pay to the court-employees, police and others. Sometimes the lawyers are charging a big amount to the poor and illiterate people. Some lawyers take money from the poor people through different techniques, in the High Court, as official costs or to bribe the Bench officers.
Sometimes the people are to sell their land of crops, gold and other properties. So with the procedures of the court, they become beggars at the long last!
These are few of the common practice in Bangladesh where the “Poor people are like a plaything”.
Jahangir Alam Akash
The Human Rights Today