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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Implement HR obligations

Human Rights ambassadors urge govt

Source: The Daily Star News

Human Rights Ambassadors Arjan Hamburger of the Netherlands, Günter Nooke of Germany and Arnold de Fine Skibsted of Denmark urged the Bangladesh authorities to further implement their international and domestic obligations in the field of human rights.

The Ambassador who visited Bangladesh from October 11 to 15 appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her clear commitment to zero tolerance policy with respect to human rights violations.

The EU Ambassadors visited Bangladesh to receive firsthand information on the developments of human rights in its broadest sense in the country, taking into account the return to democracy after the free and fair elections in December 2008.

A release of the Dutch Embassy here yesterday said the Ambassadors had frank and cordial meetings with the prime minister and a number of other ministers, representatives of the opposition, Election Commissioners, chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Director Generals of BDR and Rab, Additional IGP as well as a good number of Civil Society Organisations.

On Tuesday, the Ambassadors visited the Rohingya refugee camp at Kutupalong, Cox's Bazar and discussed refugee related issues with local authorities and NGO's. The delegation was extensively briefed by the UNHCR on their interventions benefiting the refugee population.

The delegation was briefed on the progress made on the implementation of the CHT Peace Accord by relevant authorities and the CHT Commission. The Human Rights Ambassadors were encouraged by government's commitments to a zero-tolerance stance on extra judicial killings, torture and custodial death.

They welcomed commitment to the implementation by relevant authorities of the recommendations made during the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council early 2009.

The Human Rights Ambassadors also discussed socio and economic human rights while acknowledging the development challenges of Bangladesh.

The need to strengthen independent institutions whose mandate is to further the respect for human rights such as the National Human Rights Commission, Right to Information Commission and the Anti Corruption Commission was mentioned as well as expanding assistance to Bangladesh in this domain.

The delegation had extensive discussions on issues relating to the advancement of women in Bangladesh society and the affirmative action needed to curb violence against women.

The Ambassadors thanked the prime minister and all other interlocutors for the open and frank discussions that had enhanced their knowledge.

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