South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Bangladesh has “rejected” the human rights report released by the US State Department and sent a “protest” note to Washington.

“By and large, reading the report it seems (to me) that it is more applicable to the US than to Bangladesh,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said at a press briefing on Monday at the ministry.

The 2019 report released last Wednesday termed the 11th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh “improbably lopsided” and “not considered free and fair”.

It also criticised the government for taking “few measures” to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and killing by law enforcers.

The annual report chronicled violence, repression and cruelty around the world, under a mandate set by the US Congress in foreign aid and trade laws.

The foreign minister drew parallels with the US on a number of issues, from LGBT issues to elections, and said the report is as applicable to the US.

He said Bangladesh believes freedom of speech at home and abroad.

“So anyone can prepare the report, but it has to be objective.”

“We’ll welcome any report if they prepare it after rigorous investigation on their own. Then it’ll be more objective,” he said, adding that this report was prepared based on the information from different media reports and NGOs.

“But they did not analyse the objectivity of that information,” he said, adding that it is a routine job of the state department. “We have nothing to be worried about”.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and two other secretaries of the foreign ministry – Md Kamrul Ahsan and Mahbub Uz Zaman – were also present, during the briefing.


Updated On: 18 Mar 2019