Thursday, February 24, 2005

BANGLADESH: UNHCR asks for information on blasts

In the communiqué, issued by Ambeyi Ligabo, the special rapporteur of the promotion and protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the agency asked for details of the inquiries, judicial or other procedures undertaken and reports thereof. The special rapporteur also asked the government to explain whether the inquiries were inconclusive, and if so, why so — whether the perpetrators have been brought to justice, and if not, why not.

UNHCR asks for information on blasts

The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights has asked the Bangladesh government to furnish information regarding the assassination of the former finance minister, Shah AMS Kibria and the grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina’s rally that killed 22 people, including Ivy Rahman, the leader of the Awami Mahila League, the women wing of the party.

The UN agency also called upon the government to provide information about the police excesses on demonstrators, rallying in different parts of the country to protest the killing of the Awami League politicians and on journalists covering the protests.

Its request came in a letter dated February 3 and addressed to the permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN offices in Geneva, a copy of which was made available in Dhaka on Wednesday.

In the communiqué, issued by Ambeyi Ligabo, the special rapporteur of the promotion and protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the agency asked for details of the inquiries, judicial or other procedures undertaken and reports thereof.

The special rapporteur also asked the government to explain whether the inquiries were inconclusive, and if so, why so — whether the perpetrators have been brought to justice, and if not, why not.

He, in addition, urged the government to take all necessary steps to investigate all human rights violations in the country, to prosecute and punish the guilty.

Ligabo also called for adopting effective measures to prevent recurrence of such acts.

The Bangladesh government has been given time till April 3 to furnish its reply to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The AL leader, Shah AMS Kibria and five other people were killed in a grenade attack at an Awami League rally in Habiganj on January 27.

Kibria was also an ex-executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific from 1981 to 1992.