Sunday, January 30, 2011

Report on meeting with Sheikh Hasina in New Age

Stern action against those responsible for extrajudicial killing: PM

Lord Eric L Avebury, chairman of the standing committee on human rights in the UK House of Lords, calls on the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, at her hotel suite in London on Sunday. — PID photo

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . London

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has categorically said her government would take stern actions against those found responsible for extrajudicial killing in Bangladesh.

‘If anyone found guilty after investigation for extra judicial killing, we will take action against the persons as we believe that all citizens have the right to get justice,’ she said.

The prime minister said this when chairman, Standing Committee of Human Rights of House of Lords, Lord Abury, director Asia chapter of Amnesty International Abbas Faiz and director HR Caucus, New York Prague Adams paid a courtesy call on her at her hotel suite in London on Sunday.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting the foreign minister, Dipu Moni,

said the human rights leaders expressed satisfaction over the existing human rights condition in Bangladesh.

They also lauded Hasina for her relentless efforts for improving the country’s human rights condition and establishing democracy in Bangladesh.

The prime minister said her government had already taken steps to stop extrajudicial killing in Bangladesh and said human rights were protected in the country after assumption of office by her government.

Hasina requested them to provide information if any, to the government regarding violation of human rights in Bangladesh. ‘You can help us to take action against human right violators by providing information..,’ she added.

Mentioning her government’s efforts to protect human rights across the country, she said it had taken fresh measurers to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty signed during the previous tenure of her government in 1997.

‘We have signed the treaty to establish peace in the troubled-torn Chittagong Hill Tracts...But, the BNP-Jamaat government did not take any initiatives to implement the accord,’ she said.

The prime minister said with the signing of the treaty, peace had been restored in the CHT region when a large number of programmes were undertaken for the development of the region by her previous government.

Later, the BNP-Jamaat government suspended many of the development projects and delayed for implementing the peace accord, she pointed out.

In this context, Hasina said as part of ongoing development programmes, her government had taken a plan to set up a modern university in Rangamati especially for ensuring higher education for the hill students.

The prime minister expressed her gratitude to the human rights leaders for extending their all-out support in restoring democracy and human rights in Bangladesh and for playing a vital role to raise mass awareness against the repression and atrocities on innocent people after the country’s 2001 general elections.

Dipu Moni, principal secretary to the prime minister MA Karim and Bangladesh high commissioner to the UK Sayeedur Rahman Khan were present on the occasion.

Besides, leaders of different organisations, social bodies and eminent personalities of expatriate Bangladeshis met Hasina at her hotel suite Sunday.

Note: I don't know how New Age got the idea that I am chairman of the 'standing committee on human rights in the House of Lords. I am vice-chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, which includes members of both Houses. Issues raised with the Prime Minister included: the restrictions the Ministry of CHT Affairs proposed on future work by the International CHT Commission; treatment of Moshrefa Mishu, President of the Garment Workers' Union; improvements in the legislation on the war crimes trials, and extrajudicial killings by RAB, on which we were grateful for Sheikh Hasina's reassurances.

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