The Council of the European Union has expressed concern over the incident of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and called on Bangladesh and a few other countries to effectively investigate the incidents in an impartial and transparent manner.
The council approved conclusions on EU priorities in United Nations Human Rights Fora 2018 at a meeting in Brussels on February 26, according to a release posted on its website.
According to the conclusions, the European Union called on all states to ensure that ensure appropriate prosecution of those responsible for enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
It also expresses concerns over such cases notably in Bangladesh, Libya, Syria, Myanmar, Crimea Sevastopol, Russian Federation, the Philippines, Pakistan, Burundi and Venezuela.
The union will continue to be engaged in the fight against torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in particular when used by law enforcement personnel and security forces, resolved the council.
‘The EU will continue in all its external relations to promote respect for diversity by protecting and promoting human rights of persons belonging to national minorities, including already acquired rights, in accordance with applicable UN and Council of Europe norms and standards,’ it stated.
Asked on Wednesday, home minister Asaduzzman Khan declined to comment on the issue.
Law minister Anisul Huq could not be reached despite repeated attempts. In several occasions, he, however, expressed concerns about the incidents of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killing, but advised journalists to highlight the country’s role in sheltering a large number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
Even on Human Rights Day in 2017, the law minister had declared that the government was investigating reported incidents of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings.
By mid December 2017, the law minister publicly announced that he would follow up the cases.
The National Human Rights Commission has, however, claimed that over 150 cases remained unresolved over the years while its chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said that many reports came to them without identification of the suspects.
According to rights organisation Odhikar, at least 408 people were subjected to enforced disappearance between January 2009 and November 2017.
On December 4, 2017, former diplomat Muhammed Maroof Zaman, who served Qatar and Vietnam as ambassador from Bangladesh, went missing when he was going to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to pick his daughter. His whereabouts is still unknown.
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