The National Human Rights Commission has strongly refuted the Human Rights Watch’s observations about the conduct of trial by international crimes tribunals in Bangladesh.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its “2013 World Report” released on February 1 said, “Serious flaws in the laws and rules of procedure governing the trials of ICT have gone unaddressed, despite proposals from the US government and many international experts.”

In its reaction, the NHRC yesterday said the tribunals have been working independently and transparently. In the report, the HRW could not provide any facts to back up the doubts raised about the tribunals’ transparency and impartiality.

The tribunals have gained appreciation both at home and abroad. And they are going to set a new international standard in terms of war crimes trial, the NHRC said in a statement.

The HRW report said the overall human rights situation in Bangladesh worsened in 2012.

Terming the report incomplete and generalised, the commission said such reports should be prepared on the basis of research-based information.

It said the HRW report repeatedly highlighted some past incidents of human rights violation, which is unexpected. The commission, however, said that Bangladesh has to go a long way to improve the human rights situation significantly.

The HRW report said violence against women and children had increased. But it did not mention the women’s contribution to the expansion of education and economic growth, said the commission.

Referring to the HRW’s concern over extrajudicial killings and forced-disappearances, the NHRC said it has been informed that the government and law enforcement agencies have completed probes into some of the incidents and gave directives to take action against the persons responsible.

“It is a matter of regret that these positive initiatives have not been reflected in the report,” said the commission.

Source: The Daily Star – 07/02/2013 (http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=268219)