Muhammad Abdur Raqib

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Irvine, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10718

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Raqib, Muhammad Abdur (California, Irvine, U. of) "Securitized Court: Violence and Lawfare in Bangladesh"

My research investigates how terrorism defendants and their family members navigate the legal terrain in Bangladesh and how state officials silence and traumatize the court system by shaping and defining the legal records on terrorism. Approaching security as a legal-anthropological object of study and legal practice as a socio-political process, I will delineate security practices and legal proceedings that constitute the suffering of the terrorism defendants. Nearly three million people in Bangladesh are methodically strangled in the court system with terrorism charges (Mashal 2023). As protestors make demands for voting and political rights, the Bangladeshi government rhetorically equates these forms of protest with terrorism and violence, and carries out its own counterterror measures–from mass detention to violent torture. The government utilized law, security forces, and court officials together to manage and control political activism and large-scale prosecution, securitizing the lives of millions by casting them as terrorists. Building upon ethnographic interviews with the terrorism defendants and their families and friends and participant observation in courtrooms and human rights organizations, I aim to illuminate the securitized nature of the judiciary, in which people become the subject of security and the way they negotiate it.