Monday, September 24, 2018 | ePaper

Gathering for human rights issues was meant for misleading propaganda

  • Print
A number of countries from Europe, Asia, North and South America on Monday participated in the Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on its third cycle, underway at Geneva. The countries collectively urged Bangladesh to safeguard freedom of expression. Moreover, the countries advised the Bangladesh government to reconsider the proposed Digital Security Act. Our Law Minister is also representing Bangladesh, reportedly to highlight efforts and achievements of the government.
The push for protecting freedom of expression in Bangladesh is getting more regular in recent times, and also foreign envoys stationed in Bangladesh have made the same request couple of months back. Yet the government remains silent and somewhat hesitant to openly discuss on crucial issues like the freedom of expression.
However, the representatives of a number of countries urged our Law Minister on specific issues. For instance, the representative from Norway called upon Bangladesh government to ensure the rights of journalists and human rights defenders. The country also requested Bangladesh to investigate rights abuses by state agencies. The New Zealand representative called for safeguarding freedom of assembly and political association, and implementing the Chottogram Hill Tracts Accord signed in 1997. Poland had asked to ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture. Portugal and Slovakia said to put an end to death penalty and the list went on with other countries.
Nevertheless, what's puzzling is that while responding to their plea, our Law Minister was repeatedly explaining the list of achievements of the government. On the other hand, he was portraying the opposition BNP as an undemocratic force. Our point is -- such international forums, meetings or seminars are not platforms for sycophancy and propaganda of development politics. The issues raised were human rights connected but Minister was not willing to face those issues. The Law Minister plainly executed the duty of a public spokesperson of the ruling party.
Even had the Minister responded by assuring the participant countries that - he and the government would look into the issues raised - he would have sounded more relevant. We know, the issues raised in the Universal Periodic Review are not new but the Law Minister's response in that regard was a poor show and out of the context. 

More News For this Category

Discrimination in Jail Code

EMINENT citizens have described the criteria stipulated in the Jail Code for classifying Division I prisoners as irrational and discriminatory since respected citizens in the society are excluded from the

Attack on Iran`s elite guards

IRANIAN Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of carrying out a shooting attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, almost half of them members

Digital Bangladesh to achieve sustainable development

Dr. Foqan Uddin Ahmed :In Bangladesh digitalization started in the year 2008 by the announcement of hon'ble Prime Minister, targeting to achieve sustainable development goal by 2021. Again it was

World River Day : Let's march for the rivers

Dr. Ahmed Kamruzzaman Majumder :"Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense" said Mark Angelo, Founder and Chair of BC Rivers Day and World

The deal or the debacle of the century?

Michael Anderson and Sam Ben-Meir :As we wait for Trump to unveil his peace plan to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, he has in fact made the prospect of achieving

Readers’ Forum

The US-China "trade war"As a developing nation, we should closely follow developments regarding the ongoing US-China "trade war." There could be consequences of the war, both positive and negative, for

Organic fertilizer use should be encouraged

BALANCED use of fertilizer along with organic fertilizer is a demand of time to increase productivity and fertility of land. Strong monitoring to check the quality of imported potassium, potash

CPJ reveals weakness of journalists by appealing to President

THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a letter to the Bangladesh President has expressed deep concern about the Digital Security Act 2018, which was passed by the Parliament on

Climate change causes mass internal migration

Rayhan Ahmed Topader :Climate change in Bangladesh has started what may become the largest mass migration in human history. In recent years, riverbank erosion has annually displaced between 50,000 and

Another global financial crisis for developing countries

Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram :George Soros, Bill Gates and other pundits have been predicting another financial crisis. In their recent book, Revolution Required: The Ticking Bombs of the