Published in The Prothom Alo on Sep. 18 ::
The European Parliament (EP) will have a debate on Thursday on a joint motion for a resolution on human rights violations in Bangladesh.
The EP, according to the joint motion, commended the government of Bangladesh for the progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which has resulted in significant real-life improvements for millions of its citizens.
It, however, expressed concern about continuing human rights violations by the RAB and other security forces, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of opposition activists.
The EP joint motion reiterated its call for the abolition of the death penalty and welcomed the Supreme Court decision to commute the death sentence handed down by the International Crimes Tribunal to Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to life imprisonment.
It called on the government to immediately release anyone subjected to enforced disappearance and urged the government to establish an independent body to investigate such cases.
The EP reiterated its call on the government to establish an effective and fully independent human rights commission.
It urged the Government of Bangladesh to recognise and respect freedom of the press and media and to allow human rights groups to play an important role in strengthening accountability and documenting human rights abuses.
The EP joint motion also urged the Bangladeshi authorities to revoke the new media policy and abide by their obligations to allow free speech and expression.
If adopted, the resolution will be forwarded to the Government and Parliament of Bangladesh, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.