Wednesday, May 22 2019 | Time 15:13 Hrs(IST)
  • SpiceJet to launch 20 new flights from Mumbai
  • Two killed in road mishap in UP's Auraiyya
  • Everything put in place for tomorrow's all important counting in Bengal
  • IndusInd Bank profit lowers by 62 pc in Q4
  • No pact for permanent US base in SL: US envoy
  • Russian Deputy Foreign minister says Putin-Trump meeting possible
  • Sudirman Cup: India crash out after losing to China in Group 1D tie
  • All eyes on West Bengal as exit polls challenge Mamata
  • Cop held for graft in Aurangabad
  • Nepal bans China’s Alipay and WeChat digital wallets
  • J&K Guv apologises to public on Kashmir highway ban, says decision taken in national interest
  • HP: Counting of votes from 0800 hrs on Thursday
  • One dies in bomb blast and 20 arrested in volatile Bhatpara; Repoll on at Jorasanko
  • Anti-Sterlite Protests: First anniversary of death of 13 people in police firing observed
  • Rahul cautions Congress workers, says next 24 hrs crucial

US shows concern over human rights situation in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Mar 15 ( UNI) The US Department of State in a report expressed its dissatisfaction regarding human rights practices in Bangladesh.
Most power in Bangladesh ‘resides in the Office of the Prime Minister’ Sheikh Hasina although the country’s constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government, the US Department of State said in its report on human rights practices released early Thursday.
A 43rd Human Rights Report which was released by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in Washington contained observations on human rights practices of nearly 200 countries, including Bangladesh.
The report said that the ruling Awami League won a third consecutive five-year term ‘in an improbably lopsided’ parliamentary elections not considered as free and fair, and was marred by reported irregularities, including ballot stuffing and intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters on December 30, 2018.
During the campaign leading up to the elections, there were credible reports of harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and violence that made it difficult for many opposition candidates and their supporters to meet, hold rallies, and campaign freely.
There were reports of widespread impunity for security force abuses as the government took few measures to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and killing by security forces.
Unlawful and arbitrary killings, enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary and unlawful detentions of the individuals, arbitrary interference with privacy, censorship, substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, significant restrictions on freedom of movement, restrictions on political participation, restrictions on independent trade unions and workers’ rights were common, the report said.
Security forces continued to commit abuses with impunity with enforced disappearance, threats, beatings, kneecappings and electric shock.
Following alleged disappearances, security forces released some individuals without charge, arrested others, found some dead, and never found others.
The government made limited efforts to prevent or investigate such acts. The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, but the Special Powers Act 1974 was widely cited by law enforcers in justifying their arrests.
The constitution provides for the right of any person to challenge the legality of his or her arrest or detention in court, but the government did not generally observe these requirements.
Plaintiffs were reluctant to accuse police in criminal cases due to lengthy trial procedures and fear of retribution. Reluctance to bring charges against police also perpetuated a climate of impunity.
Officers with political ties to the ruling party occupied many of the key positions in the law enforcement agencies.
The government mobilised law enforcement resources to level civil and criminal charges against opposition party leaders.
Political affiliation often appeared to be a factor in claims of arrest and prosecution of members of opposition parties, including through spurious charges under the pretext of responding to national security threats.
Police routinely arrested opposition activists at their houses, at public places, or when commuting to and from their respective parties’ events.
Law enforcers routinely rearrested bailed individuals on other charges, despite a 2016 directive from the Appellate Division prohibiting re-arrest of people when they were released on bail in new cases without producing them before court.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia, jailed for corruption charges, was unable to take advantage of bail awarded in the case pending appeal because of more than two dozen other charges filed against her in recent years by the government.
Police implicated about 4,35,000 members of BNP, a major opposition party, on criminal charges in the run-up to the national elections and detained many of the accused.
Human rights observers claimed many of these charges were politically motivated.
Ruling Awami League-affiliated organisations, including its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League, reportedly carried out violence and intimidation across the country with impunity, including against individuals affiliated with opposition groups.
The government allegedly used the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) as a political tool including having the Anti-Corruption Commission to launch or threaten inquiries into the activities of some businesspeople, newspaper owners, opposition political activists, and civil society members for criticising the government.
Corruption and a substantial backlog of cases hindered the court system, and the granting of extended continuances effectively prevented many defendants from obtaining fair trials.
The government limited or restricted freedoms of peaceful assembly and association.
Prison conditions remained harsh and at times life threatening due to overcrowding, inadequate facilities, and a lack of proper sanitation.
More News

No pact for permanent US base in SL: US envoy

22 May 2019 | 2:58 PM

Colombo, May 22 (UNI) US ambassador to Sri Lanka says her country has no pact with Sri lanka for a permanent base in the country.

see more..

Nepal bans China’s Alipay and WeChat digital wallets

22 May 2019 | 2:37 PM

Kathmandu, May 22 (UNI) Nepal has banned popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat to prevent the loss of foreign currency earnings from tens of thousands of Chinese tourists.

see more..
Iranian Foreign Minister to visit Pak this week

Iranian Foreign Minister to visit Pak this week

22 May 2019 | 2:32 PM

Islamabad, May 22 (UNI) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to visit Islamabad later this week for consultations with the Pakistani leadership, a senior diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

see more..

12 Bangladeshi peacekeepers to be honoured by UN on May 29

22 May 2019 | 1:51 PM

Dhaka, May 22 (UNI) Twelve fallen peacekeepers from Bangladesh will be honoured by the United Nations on next the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Friday(May 29).

see more..
US firms in China fear 'retaliation' against Huawei curbs: AmCham

US firms in China fear 'retaliation' against Huawei curbs: AmCham

22 May 2019 | 1:47 PM

New York, May 22 (UNI) A top business lobby group representing American firms in China said they have "real concerns" over how Beijing may respond to US action taken against Huawei.

see more..