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Dhaka Tribune

Human rights violations: BNP wants independent probe under UN supervision

More than 600 political leaders and activists, civil society members and labour leaders have been subjected to enforced disappearance, says BNP Secretary General Fakhrul

Update : 18 Aug 2022, 09:57 PM

In tune with UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, BNP on Thursday demanded an independent investigation into the incidents of human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, under the supervision of the United Nations.

“More than 600 political leaders and activists, civil society members and labour leaders have been subjected to enforced disappearance. Most of them were not found. Enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity. Making a person disappear by the state is a grievous offence. It can’t be accepted. So, this type of crime should be investigated,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Talking to reporters at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, he said the UN Human Rights Commissioner rightly said a fair, neutral and independent inquiry must be carried out into the incidents and those involved in such crimes will have to be brought to justice.

The BNP leader said Bachelet also talked about the Rapid Action Battalion’s involvement with such incidents.

“We want an independent investigation under the supervision of the UN into the incidents to reveal the truth and take action against all those to be found involved (with the human rights violations),” he said.

Fakhrul said the UN rights chief's statements on enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and the human rights situations in Bangladesh have proved the truth of what the BNP has long been saying about the matters.

“We’ve long been saying that the enforced disappearances, killings and extrajudicial killings have been taking place with state patron. It’s a big problem,” he said.

Stating that people in Bangladesh were not known to the world of enforced disappearance, Fakhrul said it was Awami League which introduced enforced disappearance in the country after returning to power in 2008.

Referring to Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader’s remark that the United Nations has no jurisdiction to investigate any incidents of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Bangladesh, Fakhrul said the ruling party leader ostensibly admitted that these incidents happened here through his comment.

Earlier at a press conference on Wednesday, UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet voiced deep concerns over the allegations of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture in Bangladesh.

She also spoke of a neutral, independent and transparent investigation into the allegations, saying her office is ready to provide advice on how such a mechanism could be designed in line with international standards.

Replying to a question, Fakhrul said there is no atmosphere in the country to engage in talks with the ruling party over the country's political crisis.

“The political crisis here can't be resolved until our chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia is released, the cases (filed against our leaders and activists) are withdrawn and until this government resigns handing over power to a neutral caretaker government and dissolving Parliament,” he said.

Trashing some media reports on BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s worsening health condition, Fakhrul said she is now doing well and all the parameters of her health are good.

“I've talked to doctors they said she has no new major problem. Basically, she is ill with various health complications. But nothing new happened to take her to a hospital. Her condition has deteriorated further," he said.

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