• Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020
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UN rights chief: Digital Security Act needs reform

  • Published at 07:18 pm February 27th, 2020
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Michelle Bachelet calls upon Bangladesh government to strengthen neutrality of its judiciary

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has put emphasis on the reform of the controversial Digital Security Act in Bangladesh.

She also called upon the government to strengthen the independence and neutrality of the country’s judiciary.

“Continuing allegations of torture, arbitrary arrests and almost 400 extrajudicial killings last year are concerning, as are reports of intimidation of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists, and constraints in the context of recent local elections,” UN human rights chief said in a statement at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday .

“Reform of the Digital Security Act is needed,” she said.

File photo of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet | Reuters

“In Bangladesh, I encourage action to strengthen the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the National Human Rights Commission,” said Bachelet.

The UN Human Rights Council will endeavour to assist in all such reforms, she said.

The High Commissioner also said that Bangladesh has a commendable record of working with the United Nations, especially in receiving the Rohingya people.

Law Minister Anisul Huq, however, could not be reached for his comment in reaction to the statement of Bachelet.

Earlier on Monday, the High Court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why sections 25 and 31 of the Digital Security Act, 2018 should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.