BNP demands UN-sponsored investigation into abductions

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Tuesday expressed concern over the increase in crimes and asked the government to investigate all enforced disappearances and abductions in the country under supervision of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.
BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon at a news conference at the party’s central office made the demand, asking the government to allow international investigation agencies including FBI and Scotland Yard in the UN-sponsored investigation to remove any ambiguity over the crimes.
Asked whether BNP gave any letter to the UN about the investigation, Ripon, also BNP’s international affairs secretary replied in the negative saying they are asking the government to pave the way for a UN team in the country, to carry out a fair and neutral investigation into the incidents of enforced disappearances and abductions.
He mentioned the recent report of an international institution ‘Control Risk’ which identified Bangladesh as the seventh of top 10 countries in the world in the context of abduction. ‘It is a matter of concern and shame for people of Bangladesh,’ he said.
He said although a war-like situation was not prevailing in the country, the scale of killings and abductions was massive. Incidents of enforced disappearances, human trafficking, repression of women and children, a baby being shot inside a mother’s womb were taking place, he said.
He said law enforcers were not carrying out their duties properly.
He said crimes increased in the country because of an absence of democratic government and accountability.
He said the government should take the matter into cognisance and tackle the situation, and step back from repressing the opposition.
Ripon described various incidents of abduction and enforced disappearances of BNP leaders and activists, including the missing Ilias Ali and Chowdhury Alam.
He reiterated the demand for an acceptable election where people can exercise their franchise as the only way to resolve the prevailing crisis.
He said BNP was worried over Bangladesh’s dignity following its drop in status on various international indexes.
He said the situation was gradually turning to anarchy.
In reply to a question about BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s visit to UK for treatment, he said health was a personal issue of a person and there was no need to make any formal comment.
In this connection, he mentioned the Indian Congress party did not say any word about the treatment of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi when she went to USA for treatment, besides a brief statement after her return stating that she returned home in good health after receiving treatment.
He expressed shock at the incident of killing of a boy in Khulna and demanded exemplary punishment of the real culprits.
BNP leaders, including Gazi Mazharul Anwar, Abdus Salam Azad, Abu Sayeed Khan Khokon, Noor-e-Ara Safa, Mustafizur Rahman Babul, Asadul Karim Shahin, Humayun Islam Khan, Helen Zerin Khan, among others, were present.

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