USA becoming a death destination for Expatriate Bangladeshis. By Taslima Hyat

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Gun deaths are now a contemporary global human rights concern. Anyone can be affected by firearm violence worldwide, but the rising trend of gun-related injuries in several states is alarming in the USA. The country is witnessing a surge in gun violence as the gun purchase rate has reached its highest level in 2021 and 2022. As a result, gun deaths are rising horribly in the USA and expatriates from different states are becoming major targets of this hate crime. In 2023, three Bangladeshi individuals lost their life in the United States, indicating the USA as a death destination for expatriates.

Death toll is rising for expatriates

At least three people are being killed by the police every day in the United States, which has been vocal about stopping human rights violations and extrajudicial killings in various countries around the world. At least 602 people, including two Bangladeshis, have been killed in police violence in the country in the six months up to the first week of this July.

To begin with, Syed Faisal Arif, a Bangladeshi student at the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the United States, was shot dead by the police last January. Ever since Faisal, a computer science student from Chittagong was killed, his family has been demanding an investigation demanding the police be accused. But even after six months, the family has not seen anything about the trial.

Another Bangladeshi, Ramim Uddin Ahmed, lost his life this year in the firing of terrorists. Ramim’s house is also in Chittagong. Protests in Bangladesh’s Chittagong demand strict action in this regard. The US Embassy in Dhaka has condoled the recent killing, but the death show did not end here.

While the protests were still going on in Chittagong, another Bangladeshi individual lost his life in the United States, marking the second fatal shooting in five days. The victim, identified as Mohammad Abul Hashim, 42, originally from Cumilla, was shot during a robbery at his grocery store in the Casa Grande area near Phoenix, Arizona. These deaths are not only having lasting impacts on victims and their families but also deteriorating the overall human rights situation in the USA.

Human Rights Violations in USA

When it comes to promoting or patronaging democracy and human rights across the globe, the United States of America shows up faster than anyone. But the same country displays utter negligence toward its multicultural society. Unfortunately, the country is facing a lot of human rights violation issues domestically at the hands of law enforcement agencies. The rising trend of extrajudicial killing in several states also provides an unsafe situation in the USA.

Mapping Police Violence, a website dealing with police violence in the United States has been publishing the number of police deaths in the country since 2013. According to the information provided by the report of the organization, the country has lost the most lives at the hands of the police since 2013. In 2022, nearly 100 people lost their lives at the hands of police in the United States every month. And at the end of the year, that number stood at 1176 people. 

American society is innately racial and racially discriminatory. The nation's black residents have endured appalling prejudice for a very long period. According to the Washington Post, black Americans are killed by police at a rate that is more than double that of white Americans. Black Americans, however, make up less than 14% of the country's total population.

Even though there are so many extrajudicial deaths at the hands of the police in the country, the country has never raised any questions. Even once the officer involved was prosecuted in the face of widespread protests after the killing of Floyd, a black man, in most other cases there is no word of justice or questions about human rights violations. 

Although there are many human rights violations and ethnic violence in the US, they are advising on human rights in other countries, including Bangladesh. It seems in the national sphere, the U.S. itself has questionable actions that go against human rights and tends to bypass the existing international laws and norms when it comes to its interests. Therefore, the U.S. itself is a violator, and it is currently not able to "lecture" others about human rights. To be the "lawmakers" of human rights, the U.S. must give up its violations, duality, and "immoral" aspects of its policy that raise questions against it.

Tomorrow might not be safe for expatriates

Numerous figures demonstrate the disturbing rise in gun-related violence, including extrajudicial executions and hate crimes, as well as the systemic violation of human rights. Along with these, police violence is becoming a daily problem for US society. Additionally, the government is failing to start or enact efficient policies. A culture of impunity is equally prevalent in the case of extrajudicial executions. Along with Americans, expatriates are becoming victims of these killings who once hoped a better life in the USA.

The guardian of global human rights appears to be struggling lately at home. The Guardian reports that people are losing their lives at the hands of the police every day in the United States, as a ‘routine encounter’. Mapping Police Violence claimed that 132 of the total number of people killed by the police in the country in 2022 were killed for no reason. Each year, approximately 40,000 Americans including expatriates are killed by gunshot wounds, which is roughly equivalent to the annual rate of traffic deaths on American roads and highways. The same number of deaths will happen tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and every day until lawmakers come to their senses and do something about it.

Following this, the USA must maximize the protection of human rights, creating the safest possible environment for most people, especially those at the most significant risk. It is yet to make a very progressive decision regarding stricter laws for guarding expatriates. The time has come for the United States to stop caring about other countries' protection of democracy and human rights and instead concentrate on enhancing its domestic law and order. Now the US should focus on its domestic situation as tomorrow might not be safe for expatriates to walk on American roads.

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