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Dhaka Tribune

UK MPs concerned over disappearance of Salahuddin

Update : 25 Mar 2015, 07:13 PM

Five members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom expressed grave concern over the reported disappearance of BNP Joint General Secretary Salahuddin Ahmed.

In an Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled on March 23, Members of the UK Parliament Julian Huppert, Mark Durkan, Mike Hancock, Robert Edward Russell and Peter Bottomley also highlighted “the lack of a free and open democratic space in Bangladesh.”

The motion read: “That this House notes with alarm the lack of a free and open democratic process in Bangladesh, and in particular the recent disappearance of Salahuddin Ahmed, spokesperson and joint-secretary of the opposition Bangladesh National Party [BNP].”

“The house further notes that there have been many other disappearances, including that of BNP leader Elias Ali in 2012, who has still not been located.”

The motion also quoted the Human Rights Watch saying that Bangladesh government has a history of failing to investigate the enforced disappearance of opposition members.

Referring to the “repeated allegations of extra-judicial killings by the Bangladeshi authorities, especially by the Rapid Action Battalion,” the UK MPs called on the government of UK to put pressure on the Bangladesh government to ensure that free and fair elections take place promptly in the country.

They also urged for stopping the “disappearances and extra-judicial killings in order to protect the  freedom of expression in Bangladesh.”

BNP Joint Secretary General Salahuddin Ahmed has been missing since March 10.

The party claimed that the law enforcers have picked him up from a Uttara house.

However, law enforcement agencies, including Special Branch of police, Criminal Investigation Department, Rapid Action Battalion, Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Police Headquarters, denied Salauddin’s arrest.

A glimmer of hope flashed in the minds of family members when a news of his location was aired on March 19 night. The news claimed that the BNP leader was found in an inaccessible part of Fulchhari under Gaibandha.

But very soon their hope was shattered as Gaibandha police confirmed that it was just a rumour.

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