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孟加拉国的政治冲突、极端主义和刑事司法
孟加拉国的政治冲突、极端主义和刑事司法
Bangladeshi Leaders Must Stop Politicizing Counterterrorism
Bangladeshi Leaders Must Stop Politicizing Counterterrorism
Protesters march in Dhaka during a general strike, held in response to the recent murder of Faysal Arefin, a publisher of books by critics of religious militancy in Bangladesh, 3 November 2015. REUTERS/Ashikur Rahman
Report 277 / Asia

孟加拉国的政治冲突、极端主义和刑事司法

政治镇压在孟加拉国进一步升温,政府为了政治目的滥用法治,而其所营造的不公正气氛则让反政府极端组织有机可乘。近日,某世俗派博主惨遭极端组织的毒手,而该惨案正是这些组织实力壮大且肆无忌惮的恶果。

执行摘要

随着人民联盟(AL)控制下的政府与孟加拉国民族主义党(BNP)的政治对抗不断升级,政府的压迫手段也再创新高。与此同时,一个高度政治化、运转不周的司法体系正在削弱而非加强法治。高压政策使政府的合法性受到质疑,同时,政府的强硬手段还适得其反地引发暴力反抗,并令暴力党派和极端组织坐收渔利。政府需要认识到改变现状符合其自身利益,否则它抑制暴力极端主义、或应对政治上的威胁。更关键的则是要去政治化,并加强刑法体系在各方面的建设,司法机构也不例外;如此为,孟加拉国才能应对其国内众多的法制挑战,并避免民主制度崩塌。

人民联盟和孟加拉国民族主义党之间的政治冲突已导致了众多暴力事件和政府的残酷镇压。为打压反对派和批判者,政府采取了强迫失踪、严刑逼供和法外处决等过激手段。不仅警察被授意针对政敌,司法机构沦为迫害反对派领袖和社运分子的工具,暴力极端分子也对他们发起了新一轮的威胁。然而,目前的法律环境却为极端团体创造了重组的机会,这则体现在对世俗派博主和外国人的谋害、以及2015年对宗派和宗教少数派的袭击上。为应对不断上升的极端主义势力,政府对部分嫌疑人实行了抓捕和审讯,但因其流程不正规且缺乏透明度,这进而加剧了政治疏离感,且让极端组织有了更多的可乘之机。

若要与反对派和解并恢复社会稳定,政府需做出政治妥协,不再利用执法部门镇压异己、并停止滥用法庭。政府为了禁言政治异见,而利用警察和特别部队——尤其是快速行动营(RAB)——打压的行为正在为将来的暴力反抗埋下伏笔。因为要集中打压反对派,警方无暇遏制犯罪行为;对反对派领袖和社运人士的大规模抓捕使得监狱系统不堪重负;司法机关的信誉亦是——因其被认为在审判和量刑上效忠于党派的政治利益——每况愈下。如此一来,司法系统便在两个极端间摇摆不定——即,办理普通案件时效率极其低下,且运作不周;而在处理政治指控时,其则断案神速,并略过了正当的诉讼程序。

除非能剔除司法中的政治影响,任何——单靠增加培训,加强警力装备,和实现公安、公诉和司法部门现代化的——改革努力都难以解决司法系统失调的问题。数年来分帮结派式的招募、升迁和委任导致体制内分化严重,以至于官员都不再掩饰各自的派系忠诚。投诉如何定性和上报、而上报案件的轻重缓急由如何划分;这些都取决于司法官员的党派偏见,他们甚至还会提前透露判决结果。

孟加拉国的法治问题并不止步于此,其还诉诸司法手段来禁言公民社会、阻碍媒体监督,并在处理政治案件时,以不公平程序取代正当程序。法制机构若沦为服务政治的工具,其将百害无利,而漏洞百出的国际犯罪法庭(ICT)则着重印证了这一点。该法庭成立于2010年,其本是为了起诉那些在1971年解放战争中犯下暴行的战犯而设,然而其缺乏公正的形象令极端势力有机可乘,并对政治冲突火上浇油。

为纪念具争议的2014年大选,孟加拉国民族主义党及其盟友伊斯兰大会党(Jamaat-e-Islami)组织了大规模的盲目暴力袭击和交通封锁,而政府亦是以暴制暴。如今,孟加拉国民族主义党似乎已不太愿意诉诸于武力政变了,并决定回归主流政治,而政府应抓住机会,尽快恢复和反对党对话。为表诚意并作出表率,政府应率先停止用司法手段攻击对手和异见者。接受合法的政治参与及批判渠道亦有助于政府收复部分合法性,并重拾公民对国家司法和安全的信任。只要一日没有司法独立和裁决公正,那各利益攸关方就可能会将争端诉诸于街头,然而一个中立——即,能坚守基本原则、防止行政过度干涉——的司法提携则将有助于缓和紧张局势。国际社会亦能促进孟加拉国的政治和解。美国和欧盟可以利用经济筹码向达卡当局施压,以此要求政府尊重公民权和政治权。印度则可以借助它与孟加拉国的密切联系,并敦促人民联盟向反对党开放合法的政治表达和参与通道。事不宜迟,如果政府继续封锁表达异见的主流渠道,那将会有更多的反对派将暴力和加入暴力组织视为其唯一的出路。

布鲁塞尔,2016年4月11日

Op-Ed / Asia

Bangladeshi Leaders Must Stop Politicizing Counterterrorism

Originally published in Nikkei Asian Review

The July 1 terrorist attack in Dhaka hit unnervingly close to home. The Bangladeshi side of my family lost a relative -- Faraaz Hossain, a 20-year-old student at Emory University in the U.S. who was home for the holidays.

I had been at the site of the massacre, the Holey Artisan Bakery, in Dhaka's upscale Gulshan neighborhood, twice during my last visit to the country. Personal grief aside, this is the most visible manifestation yet of the threat that a new generation of self-styled jihadis poses to a country that prides itself on its moderate, secular, pluralistic society.

After the attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vowed to bring all terrorists to justice and condemned those who killed in the name of Islam. Is this finally a wake-up call for a government that has too often underplayed the radical Islamist threat?

The attackers, eyewitnesses said, singled out foreigners, declaring they were there to kill non-Muslims. The majority of the 22 victims hacked to death or shot were foreigners. The venue in the capital's diplomatic zone, the targeting of mainly foreign victims and the brutal manner in which they were killed were all deliberate choices. The intention was clearly to gain maximum international publicity and to strike fear in the hearts of Bangladeshi citizens.

Shock Value 

The Islamic State group was quick to claim credit, posting pictures of the bodies on social media to ensure maximum shock and anguish. Skeptical experts and officials, however, have pointed to the likely involvement of local sympathizers or affiliates of rival al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent, or AQIS. Whatever the investigations reveal, the government's primary challenge will be to tackle local Islamic State supporters and AQIS, as the constituencies of both organizations are clearly growing. Without robust official action, these rival groups could continue to up the ante, competing for space and public attention, with dire implications for Bangladesh and its neighborhood.

One such group, Ansarul Islam, an AQIS ally, has killed scores of secular and atheist bloggers and publishers in the capital since 2013. Earlier this year, the group murdered a leading Bangladeshi gay rights activist and U.S. Embassy employee, Xulhaz Mannan, and a friend in Dhaka. An Islamic State sympathizer, the Jamaat-ul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, active since the early 2000s, is responsible for killing Hindu priests, Buddhist monks and Shias, mostly outside Dhaka. Since 2013, such attacks have claimed more than 70 lives.

In June, responding to domestic criticism and international concern, the Awami League-led government initiated a weeklong crackdown, reportedly arresting some 14,000 people. But civil society groups have alleged massive police extortion and abuse, and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-i-Islami claim their activists have been the primary targets. That Hasina's government has repeatedly blamed both parties for the killings lends credence to their claims.

Poisonous Politics 

The government's preoccupation with suppressing political opposition and dissent has certainly helped to create an environment for groups like Ansarul Islam and JMB to grow. Publicly criticizing atheist and secular bloggers for offending religious sentiments, Hasina and her senior officials have said the government cannot be held responsible for the consequences of such writings. Such mixed messages, and abdications of government responsibility, are also unlikely to foster public confidence in the state's ability to confront the growing jihadi challenge.

The Holey Artisan Bakery attack shows how little the weeklong crackdown managed to achieve. If it is to succeed in stemming the jihadi rot, the government must adopt a counterterrorism approach based on accountable and impartial law enforcement driven by credible investigations, intelligence-gathering and case-building, and anchored in the rule of law. If Hasina intends to follow through on pledges made after the attack to bring terrorists to justice, much-needed institutional reforms should start now. Heavy-handed, indiscriminate and politicized police and paramilitary operations are not only likely to fail but will also breed more resentment against the state.

The July 1 bloodbath marks a major escalation from those that had previously targeted individuals. It should prompt the government into a more serious effort to dismantle local groups linked to the most dangerous transnational jihadi outfits, Islamic State and AQIS. It should not, as in the past, turn the threat into a partisan issue.

Even as she condemned the attack, the prime minister pointed a finger at those who "have resorted to terrorism after failing to win the hearts of people democratically," an implicit reference to the BNP. As politicized cases against BNP chief Khaleda Zia and other top opposition members continue to pile up, and as the government increasingly closes off legitimate avenues of dissent, this zero-sum rivalry with its mainstream opponents has so far yielded a single winner: violent extremists. The Holey Artisan Bakery attack must not become their victory lap. Bangladesh cannot afford to lose more young liberal minds like Faraaz.