ACHR  releases its report

ACHR releases its report "Bangladesh: Polarisation, Political Violence & an Undeclared Civil War"

India Blooms News Service | 19 Feb 2015

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IBNS) Asian Centre for Human Rights in its report, "Bangladesh: Polarisation, Political Violence & an Undeclared Civil War", released on Wednesday stated that about 90 people have been killed and more than a thousand were injured in the ongoing violent anti-government protests by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led 20-party alliance demanding resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League Government and holding of mid-term elections under a neutral caretaker government since Jan 5.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) expressed serious concerns against the use of repressive, excessive and illegal means such as torture, and enforced disappearance by the security forces and detention of over 7,000 opposition political activists by the government. ACHR called upon the Awami League government to bring an end to human rights violations and establish accountability.

ACHR also condemned insurgent style tactics of the protesters to target civilians and reminded the BNP led opposition alliance that the Rome Statue of International Criminal Court (ICC) ratified by Bangladesh in 2010 apply to the opposition political parties and the ICC’s intervention following post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 demonstrates that political parties cannot escape from the command responsibility for many crimes defined in the ICC statute.

“The BNP is not a nondescript, marginalised, or scattered opposition or non-State actor. It is one of Bangladesh’s two main political parties and has held power from 1991-1996 and 2001 to 2007. Its call for free and fair elections is also aimed at coming to power once again through a credible democratic process. The BNP must take all measures to stop violence against civilians, including by those who profess to be its supporters.” – stated ACHR.

ACHR further stated that “a midterm election as the only solution espoused by the BNP is unlikely to deliver either good democratic practice or reduce current levels of violence. Indeed, it is likely to worsen the situation. Bangladesh has reached a point of no return with respect to the unfinished civil warbetween the AL, which sees itself as the sole custodian of Bangladesh’s freedom struggle, and the Jamaat-e-Islami (Jamaats) which had a role in war crimes while opposing the independence of Bangladesh.”

“Rights violations will continue unchecked and the violence will worsen as long as there is no acknowledgement, leave alone resolution, of what is in effect a civil war between the AL, which has freely used state security and justice systems for political ends, and the Jamaat-e-Islami, which wields influence disproportionate to its size and maintains the capacity and willingness to inflict organised violence on civilians.”- further asserted ACHR.

ACHR urged the BNP to play a key role to prevent the violence spiraling out of control by reinventing itself, behaving responsibly, calling off the on-going strike and severing relations with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

ACHR releases its report "Bangladesh: Polarisation, Political Violence & an Undeclared Civil War"

India Blooms News Service
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