South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The state should play a more pro-active role to end “enforced disappearances” in the country as it is duty-bound to shoulder the ultimate responsibility of such incidents, said the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman yesterday.

Dr Mizanur Rahman said the commission in its Universal Periodic Review report — to be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council on October 9 — would express its concern over “enforced disappearance” and would urge the government not to show an indifferent attitude towards this issue.

Addressing an advocacy meeting in the city, he said the NHRC would form a commission combining the rights bodies of the sub-regional countries.

The two-day-long event on international convention and enforced disappearance was organised jointly by rights group Odhikar and Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) at Spectra Convention Centre.

According to Odhikar, in 2011, at least 30 persons were reported to be “disappeared”, of who 14 were allegedly picked up by Rab, two by police, 11 by Detective Branch (DB) and three by unknown people.

From January to August 2012, Odhikar recorded 21 instances of “enforced disappearance”. Rab was behind nine incidents, said Dr Saira Rahman Khan, founder member of Odhikar.

Speakers at the function demanded that the government accedes the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

About the commission’s next step about Jhalakathi college student Limon Hossain, he said, “We will take the issue to the Supreme Court after the court’s vacation ends.”

He earlier said that the NHRC would demand a judicial probe into the incidents involving Limon who was maimed by Rab last year. The court will resume on September 30.

Top officials of the organisers, former chief justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury and Bangladesh Bar Council Vice-Chairman Khandker Mahbub Hossain also spoke.

Source: The Daily Star – 16/09/2012 (