BANGLADESH: Gross violation of human rights by the Government cannot be hidden behind Rohingya refugee issues

An Oral Statement to the 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. President.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) is highly concerned over the human rights situation in Bangladesh.

There have been 421 enforced disappearances, 1480 extrajudicial executions, 120 deaths due to torture from January 2009 to February 2018 by the law-enforcement agencies under the incumbent government. Most victims are the activists of the opposition parties.

On 6 March 2018, the police arbitrarily arrested an opposition student leader named Jakir Hossain. After three days’ police remand the detainee was sent to prison. On 12 March, he died in custody. Jakir’s body had marks of bruises, as photos captured by journalists from morgue revealed. His nails of finger and toes were found removed. In contrast, the Magistrate failed to record the mark of bruises in the inquest report.

Last year, Bangladesh removed Chief Justice S K Sinha; forced him to exile after the Supreme Court’s judgement declared Constitution’s 16th Amendment for impeaching judges in parliament illegal, questioning the legitimacy of the Parliament referring to the sham election of January 2014.

In 2017, a British newspaper reported that the highest number of refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Italy were Bangladeshis.

Next election is scheduled by December 2018. The circumstances suggest that the situation will deteriorate further.

In fact, Bangladesh government is hiding its worrying human rights records behind the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. The Council needs to concentrate to this alarming situation before it is too late.

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Web TV Video Link: (Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 80 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)

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The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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