Tuesday, September 25, 2007

EU seeks explanations on 'rights abuses'

EU seeks explanations on 'rights abuses'
Source: BDnews24

Dhaka, Sept 25 (bdnews24.com)— The European Union has sought clarifications from the government over a number of cases of human-rights abuses in Bangladesh, EU representative Bea M ten Tusscher said Tuesday.

The EU will also examine chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed's claim of improvements in the country's human rights situation, she said.

"The chief adviser is assuring us that the situation has improved. We will certainly analyse that as it is our task," Tusscher told reporters following a roundtable on EU human-rights guidelines.

"We have already asked for clarification on some certain cases (of human rights abuse) that came to our attention. And there is a dialogue on this clarification which we have received," said Tusscher, ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh.

"So we are in a open and transparent dialogue with the government about the concerns we have."

"And that is true for many more countries. I don't think Bangladesh is to be singled out," she said.

The EU will spend 130 million euros for 2007-2013 on governance and human-rights fields in Bangladesh, said Stefan Frowein, head of the delegation of the European Commission in Dhaka.

The roundtable, attended by lawyers, human-rights activists and NGO representatives, was organised to assess the existing human rights situation in Bangladesh.

The EU routinely holds meetings with people from different strata in many countries, where they have activities, to decide their strategy for guaranteeing human rights in line with the EU guidelines in the respective countries.

"In Bangladesh, the European Union plans to spend 130 million euros on governance and human rights for the period 2007-2013," Frowein said.

On the reason of holding such a meeting, Frowein said: "I think it is legitimate. The money we spend in your country comes from the European taxpayers."

Former caretaker government adviser Sultana Kamal, German ambassador Frank Meyke, advocate Shahdin Malik and advocate Sara Hossain spoke at the roundtable.

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