Thursday, December 7

Dialogue with UNHR: Bangladesh to make efforts for realising civil, political rights



Bangladesh has reiterated its commitment to making further efforts in realising the civil and political rights of people irrespective of their age, sex and colour.

Law Minister Anisul Huq conveyed the message during a two-day interactive dialogue between a high-level delegation of Bangladesh and members of the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHR) that ended on Tuesday in Geneva.

The two-day meeting was convened by the committee for consideration of Bangladesh’s initial report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The Bangladesh delegation participated in an interactive dialogue. The committee appreciated Bangladesh for submitting its initial report on ICCPR.

During the meeting, the Law Minister provided a brief account of various statutory and practical measures taken by the current government for the implementation of ICCPR in Bangladesh context, said a Foreign Ministry release on Wednesday.

At the interactive session, the committee members asked specific questions on issues related to the state mechanisms for protection of human rights, such as- rationale of newly passed Child Marriage Restraint Act, allegations of extrajudicial killing, torture and abduction against law enforcement officials, security of writer/blogger/journalist/activists and status of investigation in the cases of writer/blogger killings, steps taken to stop child/bonded/forced labour, preventive detention and alleged use of force by police, allegations of torture and custodial death, conditions of prison, death penalty and others.

The rights of religious and ethnic minorities, including government actions on alleged land grabbing, attacks on minorities and their worship places also featured in the committee’s questionnaire.

The committee also enquired about the Election Commission and the status of investigations and trials against the perpetrators for their participation in the election-time violence and other destructive activities.

Questions related to freedom of expression also covered a significant portion of the dialogue. It also requested information on status of Rakhine Muslims living in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh acceded to ICCPR in 2000 during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The initial report, however, was submitted by the government of Bangladesh to the committee in June 2015.