South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman yesterday said, the commission faces difficulties in dealing with allegations of human rights violations as the home ministry often delays to respond to its queries.

“Whenever we receive allegations (incidents of human rights violations), we send it to the home ministry asking it to report on the incident after conducting an investigation. But the ministry often delays to submit the report,” said the chairman addressing journalists at a dialogue organised by NHRC at Dhaka Club.

Prof Mizan also urged the media to play an active role with the commission to report incidents of human rights violations to assist the commission to take necessary steps.

The chairman mentioned that the commission is considering launching of a service centre, which will function 24 hours so that media personnel can get the commission’s version on the incidents.

NHRC received a total of 317 allegations of human rights violations in 2011, of which, it solved all cases but 83, he said.

Speaking at the programme, senior journalist Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said, journalists would have to play the watchdog role through reporting both the incidents of human rights violations and the activities of NHRC.

Quoting a study of NHRC, he said 50 percent people do not know what is human rights violation whereas five percent from the rest of the 50 percent are not clear about the issue.

At the dialogue, the rights body chairman mentioned that NHRC called a meeting on January 4 to discuss the recent growing trend of secret killings.

“Secret killing is a sensitive issue. It will be wise not to speak on the issue right now. We will discuss the matter in the meeting to set our course of action,” Prof Mizan said.

The commission received allegations of some incidents of people gone missing and forwarded the cases to the home ministry asking it to conduct investigations into the cases, he added.

Kazi Reazul Hoque, full-time member of the commission and honorary members Prof Niru Kumar Chakma and Nirupa Dewan were also present at the dialogue.

Source: The Daily Star ( – 13/12/2011

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