Bangladesh’s Human Rights suffer set-back

Dhaka, January 21: Human Rights Watch has reportedly said that Bangladesh has suffered a major set back in its quest to incorporate human rights in 2013 following its government’s harsh onslaught on media persons, members of civil society and political opposition

Expressing concern over growing insensitiveness of Bangladesh government toward citizens, Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said that this year has been tragic for Bangladesh, with political unrest leading to unnecessary deaths of protesters, security personnel, and bystanders.

The 24th edition of Human Rights Watch that practices human rights in more than 90 countries noted that violent street protests that shook Bangladesh in February continued throughout the year after the main opposition party alliance decided to boycott elections scheduled for January 5, 2014 killing nearly 200 and injuring thousands.

Street protests broke out in Bangladesh in February against decisions by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), a domestic court set up to put on trial those responsible for war crimes and other abuses during Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971.

According to the report, protesters turned violent following the execution of Abdul Qader Mollah, a senior member of opposition party Jamaat-e-Islami, convicted and sentenced to death following the passage of retroactive amendments to the ICT law prohibited by international law.

On a more positive note, Bangladeshi courts dropped charges against Limon Hossain, a young man shot and maimed by security forces in a botched operation in 2011.

The government failed to fulfill its promise of improving the condition of workers in garment and other industries after the deaths of more than 1,100 workers in the April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building.

Although, following domestic and international pressure, the Bangladeshi parliament enacted changes to the Labor Act in July.

The authorities dropped criminal charges against several labor rights leaders. (ANI)