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‘End impunity for violations against indigenous women in CHT’

  • Published at 01:56 pm February 20th, 2018
‘End impunity for violations against indigenous women in CHT’
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) issued a press release expressing deep concerns about the recent incident of sexual violence against two indigenous Marma sisters, their unlawful confinement at the Rangamati General Hospital followed by their abduction by law enforcement officers, as well as the assault on Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) protecting them. The press release says: “It is alarming that the government itself has chosen to attack the work of peaceful women human rights defenders while blatantly failing their obligation to protect the rights of human rights defenders and their family members.” The press release continued: “It is not an isolated incident of violence against indigenous women. In 2013, APWLD partner organization Kapaeeng Foundation documented 136 cases of sexual and other forms of violence perpetrated against women in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. They found that 89% of perpetrators of sexual violence in the CHT were Bengali settlers and 4% were security personnel. Yet none of the cases filed at the courts resulted in a conviction to date.” APWLD, together with the WHRD and their movements in Bangladesh, urged the Bangladesh government to take the following actions immediately:
  • Thoroughly and independently investigate the case of sexual violence against the two Marma sisters and act to bring the perpetrators to justice in civilian court
  • Investigate the attacks against WHRD including Queen Yan Yan and her companion and hold perpetrators accountable
  • Ensure safety and security of the two Marma sisters and WHRD
  • Recognize the important role of WHRD in the society of Bangladesh and fulfil the commitments made in the UNGA resolution on human rights defenders
  • Implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and ensure the equal participation and full involvement of indigenous women