When Bangladesh’s men in black arrive, usually late at night, it’s like death has come knocking on your door: Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is an elite police unit that was founded in 2004 to fight terror and crime.
For years, the United States and other Western countries played an important role in training and equipping the force – despite allegations of wide-spread human rights violations. It would take until 2018 for the US to stop funding RAB, followed by sanctions in late 2021. Now, for the first time ever, two insiders of Bangladesh’s elite force claim how RAB systematically and with explicit backing from the highest political level has been committing murder, torture, and abductions.
For this story, DW teamed up with Netra News.
An Investigation by Chris Caurla, Naomi Conrad, Arafatul Islam & Birgitta Schülke
Additional Research Julett Pineda and several others who, for security reasons cannot be named
Camera Birgitta Schülke & Arafatul Islam
Edit/Motion Graphics/Sound Design Chris Caurla
Illustrations Aleksandra Kononova
Senior Editor Mathias Stamm
Head of DW Investigations Sandra Petersmann
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