Dhaka, March 13 (bdnews24.com)—The government Thursday expressed disappointment over what it said was lack of balance in the US State Department's report that pointed to the worsening human rights condition during the state of emergency in Bangladesh.
In reaction to the Human Rights Report 2007, released Tuesday in Washington, the government said the report had failed to mention the reform measures taken by the caretaker government for "consolidating and sustaining democracy".
The US report made a string of observations about alleged human-rights violations and other developments about the state of emergency.
"In accordance with its constitutional obligation, Bangladesh is committed to upholding human-rights of all citizens," the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement Thursday.
"All including the international community knows the circumstances which led to the declaration of the state of emergency in early January 2007," the statement mentioned.
"It is understood that during the state of emergency some fundamental rights remain suspended. However, the government is extremely careful about enforcing such provisions so that the fundamental rights are not infringed," the statement added.
However, the government statement said, the US report acknowledged various reform initiatives taken by the caretaker government, such as separation of the judiciary from the executive, revision of the Police Act with "adherence to human rights" and "several major steps to improve the prison conditions".
"The report duly noted that there was a significant drop in the number of extrajudicial killings, introduction of special training courses on human rights for the members of law-enforcement agencies including RAB."
The government statement also said the US report noted persons charged with criminal offences receiving due process, freedom of religion and "enhanced government efforts" to combat human trafficking and improve labour conditions.
The report further acknowledged the government's efforts to relax the extent of limitations placed on the media by the emergency powers rules.
"The government is, however, disappointed at the report's lack of balance as evidenced in its failure to mention the significant reform measures taken by the caretaker government for consolidating and sustaining democracy."
The measures, according to the government statement, include restructuring and empowering of the Election Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Anticorruption Commission.
"The report could further mention the initiatives taken with a view to establishing a National Human Rights Commission and promulgating Right to Information Ordinance," the ministry said in the statement.
"These landmark reform initiatives would significantly improve democratic practices leading to promotion and protection of human rights in a sustained manner."
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Bangladesh Govt Rejects US Report
Bangladesh government has issued a statement rejecting US Human Rights report that portrayed the worsening rights records in Bangladesh under the army backed caretaker government. The government claims that the report lacks balance and does not fully speak for the government's numerous initiatives to uphold law and human rights. Bdnews24 reports,