2 years ago

Bangladesh monitors UN meet on forced disappearances

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Representational image

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Bangladesh is keenly observing the meeting of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances that started in Geneva on Tuesday.

The thrice-a-year routine meeting draws extra attention this time hot on the heels of the US sanctions on RAB and some of its officials for 'violation of human rights'.

Recently, the government sent data on the situation in Bangladesh and the progress in rescuing some persons, who allegedly fell victim to enforced disappearances.

The government never endorses 'enforced disappearance' as it always believes in the rule of law, foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen tells the FE.

Commenting on the development, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen says the government does not want that international agencies take any stand on Bangladesh based on any 'false and fabricated report'.

Efforts are ongoing to rescue the victims of 'enforced disappearances' and the law-enforcers have been able to rescue several persons recently, he adds.

"We have sent the UN the data about the progress," the secretary further says, adding that many of the victims are believed to be in abroad.

The crucial UN meeting started to examine more than 300 cases of enforced disappearances from 24 countries, including Bangladesh.

Five independent experts are holding meetings with relatives of forcibly disappeared persons, state representatives, civil-society groups and other stakeholders to exchange information on individual cases and on structural issues and challenges related to enforced disappearances, UN officials said.

They will also examine allegations regarding obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance ('the Declaration') like regressive legislation and practices or systemic failures to address cases of enforced disappearance, notably in the areas of truth and justice.

Mr Momen further says that Bangladesh will consider the recommendations of the meeting.

Issues like disappearances perpetrated by non-state actors and linkages between enforced disappearances and new technologies will also be discussed, according to the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner.

The decisions made by the working group during the 126th session will be reflected in its next 'post-sessional report'.

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