Human rights situation in Bangladesh has further deteriorated, alleges Lord Avebury
(SAN-FEATURE SERVICE) LONDON
Sept 25: Lord Avebury, vice-chairman, UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group has alleged that most of the JMB members picked up by the police are admitting their former membership of Jamaate-e-Islami, a partner in the coalition, or the Jamaat’s youth wing, Shibir. There is a close and dangerous relationship between Jamaat and JMB, he pointed out.
Speaking at a dinner party hosted by the steering committee of European Human Rights Conference on Bangladesh, in South London recently, Lord Avebury claimed, “since our ‘European Human Rights Conference on Bangladesh’ held at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) University of London, on June 17, the human rights situation in Bangladesh has worsened.”
He said, extra-judicial killings continue unabated, with more than 445 people executed by law enforcement agencies including the RAB, Cobra and Cheeta. “The Ahmadiyya community has come under further attacks in Jamalpur and has been threatened in Satkhira.
“We are also informed of the Bangladesh Government’s harassment and intimidation of members of the Chittagong Hill Tracts community after they attended the 4th session of UN Forum on Indigenous Issues held in May 16-27, 2005 in New York, and of Rabindra Ghosh, an advocate of the minority Hindu community,” said Lord Avebury.
He mentioned that the 500 coordinated bomb blasts across Bangladesh on August 17 by Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) demonstrates the strength and the extent of the extremist networks. “This attack also shows up the Bangladesh Government’s previous refusal to acknowledge the existence of extremist groups, and to curb the activities of fundamentalist groups operating in Bangladesh”, he remarked.
Lord Avebury further said that the proceedings of June 17 conference in London will be published in October at a meeting in the House of Lords. On that occasion a new international network of human rights organisations, to address the issue of human rights in Bangladesh, will be launched, in accordance with the Resolution passed on June 17.
Also present at the meeting were Brad Adams, Executive Director & Anna Richmond, Legal Policy and Communications Associate of Human Rights Watch, Maggie Bowden and George Anthony from Liberation amongst other members of the Steering Committee.