Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Foreign Minister: US, Europe need to do more to protect human rights of citizens

'Look, the human rights situation in Bangladesh is much better than many other countries in the world'

Update : 10 May 2024, 07:36 PM

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Friday said there is a necessity for all countries to work together to improve human rights records, including in the United States and Europe.

“Look, the human rights situation in Bangladesh is much better than many other countries in the world. In human rights, no country is perfect,” he told reporters while responding to a question at Foreign Service Academy.

The foreign minister joined the "Boishakhi Utsob" organized by the Foreign Office Spouses' Association (FOSA) as the chief guest.

Former Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and diplomats stationed in Dhaka were present.

He referred to what is happening in the US and said Bangladesh does not suffer police brutality, as seen in the policing of students’ protests on US college campuses.

“We are watching the brutality on television. Even teachers were not spared,” Hasan said, adding that such a scenario is not seen when the Bangladesh Awami League remains in power.

He, however, said it was seen during martial law, Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad regimes.

The foreign minister said they want to work with the development partners on the human rights front and want to see human rights are protected in the US and Europe.

Referring to brutality on the pro-Palestinian protesters on the US campuses, the foreign minister on Wednesday said he is willing to know the reaction to the brutality from those who issued statements when Hero Alam was punched in Bangladesh.

“In our country, a statement is issued for punching a mayoral candidate. A statement is issued when Hero Alam is punched, and also statement is issued when the brother of Charmonai Peer is punched,” he told reporters, adding that: “I am very interested to know what their (US) statement is.”

Hasan said they are surprised to see how those who are protesting in the United States are being brutally suppressed.

During his participation in the recent OIC Summit in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia, Foreign Minister Hasan called for an immediate cessation of the conflict in Palestine, ensuring humanitarian access and holding Israel accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"We, the members of the OIC, should be part of a multi-tracked international engagement to end the Gaza crisis," he said while speaking at the 15th Islamic Summit Conference titled "Strengthening Unity and Solidarity through Dialogue for Sustainable Development."

Bangladesh, along with a few other countries, has requested the International Criminal Court for an investigation of ‘the situation in the State of Palestine’.

"Accountability and punishment are mandatory so that once for all the ongoing conflict in Gaza ends and people can start living peacefully in their own land," Hasan said while sharing six specific suggestions on behalf of Bangladesh on Saturday evening.

Asked about the nomination of the new US Ambassador to Bangladesh, he said they received the name (agrimo) much earlier.

US President Joe Biden has nominated David Slayton Meale, currently Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing, as the next US Ambassador to Bangladesh.

The nomination has been sent to the Senate for final approval, according to the White House.

The current US ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Haas, will soon end his tenure in Dhaka.

Regarding upazila Parishad polls, the foreign minister said 35 percent votes were cast despite BNP’s call of boycotting the polls.

“It is a good turnout. I would not say it is very good. And there was no violence. I hope voters’ turnout will increase in the second phase polls,” he said.

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