Tuesday, March 1, 2011

চেয়ারম্যানের অভিযোগ : প্রধানমন্ত্রীর অনুমোদনের পরও জনবল পায়নি মানবাধিকার কমিশন

জাতীয় মানবাধিকার কমিশনের চেয়ারম্যান ড. মিজানুর রহমান অভিযোগ করে বলেছেন, চার মাস আগে প্রধানমন্ত্রীর অনুমোদনের পরও জনবল পায়নি মানবাধিকার কমিশন। গতকাল সকালে ঢাকা রিপোর্টার্স ইউনিটির মিলনায়তনে বিআইএইচআরের মানবাধিকারবিষয়ক প্রতিবেদন প্রকাশ অনুষ্ঠানে প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্যে তিনি এ অভিযোগ করেন।

অনুষ্ঠানে বিআইএইচআরের নির্বাহী পরিচালক এডভোকেট শাহানুর ইসলাম সৈকত বলেন, ২০১০ সালে ১ হাজার ৬৫৩টি মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘনের ঘটনা ঘটেছে। এছাড়া ২০১১ সালের জানুয়ারি ও ফেব্রুয়ারি মাসে একই ঘটনা ঘটেছে ২০০টি। গ্লোবাল হিউম্যান রাইটস ডিফেন্স ও বাংলাদেশ ইনস্টিটিউট অফ হিউম্যান রাইটস যৌথভাবে এ তথ্য প্রকাশ করে।

জাতীয় মানবাধিকার কমিশনের চেয়ারম্যান ড. মিজানুর রহমান বলেন, আমরা শুধুমাত্র সংখ্যালঘুদের মানবাধিকার নিয়ে কাজ করি না। আমরা প্রত্যেকটি মানুষের মানবাধিকার নিয়ে কাজ করি। সব ঘটনাকেই মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘন বলা যাবে না। রাষ্ট্রীয় পৃষ্ঠপোষকতায় যেসব ঘটনা ঘটে এবং যেসব ঘটনা ঘটার পর রাষ্ট্র নিষ্ক্রিয় থাকে সেগুলো মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘন বলা যায়।

মিজানুর রহমান বলেন, আমরা বলছি না যে বর্তমানে মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘন হচ্ছে না। তবে আগের তুলনায় অনেক কমেছে এটি বলতে পারি। তিনি অভিযোগ করে বলেন, ২০১০ সালের জুন মাসে আমাকে দায়িত্ব দেয়ার পর অক্টোবর মাসে প্রধানমন্ত্রী একটি ফাইলে সই করেছেন। যাতে মানবাধিকার কমিশনে ২৮ জন জনবল নিয়োগের অনুমতি থাকার পরও আমলাদের কারণে এখন পর্যন্ত জনবল পাইনি। তারপরও যারা জনবল নিয়োগে গড়িমসি করছেন সেসব আমলাদের বলতে চাই আপনারা জনবল না দিলেও যে ক'জন আছে তাদের নিয়েই মানবাধিকার রক্ষায় কাজ করে যাব।
বিআইএইচআরের রিপোর্টের সমালোচনা করে মিজানুর রহমান বলেন, এত দ্রুত বহির্বিশ্বে রিপোর্ট না পাঠিয়ে আপনারা আমাদের কাছে আসুন। আমরা যদি সমাধান দিতে পারি তাহলে কেন বিদেশিদের কাছে যাবেন। প্রকাশিত রিপোর্টটি একটি সাদামাটা রিপোর্ট বলেও তিনি মন্তব্য করেন। অনুষ্ঠানে নির্যাতিত কয়েকজন ব্যক্তিও তাদের নির্যাতনের তথ্য তুলে ধরেন।

মূল প্রতিবেদনে এডভোকেট শাহানুর ইসলাম বলেন, ২০১০ সালে হিন্দু, আহমাদিয়া মুসলিম, দলিত, আদিবাসী ও পাহাড়ি সংখ্যালঘু সমপ্রদায়ের ওপর বার বার নির্যাতনের ঘটনা ঘটেছে। ভূমি দখল, উচ্ছেদ, ধর্ষণ ও মন্দিরে হামলা ছিল নিত্যনৈমিত্তিক ব্যাপার। পার্বত্য শান্তিচুক্তি এখনো বাস্তবায়িত হয়নি।

তিনি বলেন, নারী নির্যাতন, সাংবাদিক ও মানবাধিকার কর্মীরা ২০১০ সালে ধারাবাহিকভাবে হুমকির মুখোমুখি হয়েছেন। স্থানীয় ক্ষমতাশালী অপরাধী ও সরকার কর্তৃক মিথ্যা অভিযোগ ও অপরাধে জড়িতকরণসহ বিভিন্নভাবে হয়রানি করা হয়েছে। অনেক বাংলাদেশি সাংবাদিক ও মানবাধিকার কর্মী দেশে ফিরে আসলে নির্যাতিত হওয়ার ভয়ে নিজেদের নির্বাসিত করে রেখেছেন।

পুলিশের অবহেলার কথা উল্লেখ করে রিপোর্টে বলা হয়, দুর্নীতি, পুলিশের অবহেলা, দায় থেকে অব্যাহতি প্রদান ও ক্ষতিগ্রস্তদের পক্ষে ন্যায়বিচার প্রাপ্তির সার্বিক অভাব ২০১০ সালে তথ্যানুসন্ধানকৃত সব ঘটনায় দেখা গেছে। তিনি বলেন, ২০১০ সালে আওয়ামী লীগ সরকার কিছু উদ্যোগ গ্রহণ করায় রাজনৈতিকভাবে সংখ্যালঘু সমপ্রদায় বৃহৎ আকারে প্রতিনিধিত্ব করছে এবং এ বছরে নির্যাতন কিছুটা কমেছে। তিনি বলেন, যদি সরকার চূড়ান্তভাবে সবার জন্য মানবাধিকার নিশ্চিতকরণের জন্য তার প্রদত্ত ওয়াদা বাস্তবায়ন না করে তাহলে ২০১১ সালেও ২০১০ সালের মতো ঘটনা ঘটতে পারে।

আটকাবস্থায় নির্যাতন বন্ধে প্রজ্ঞাপন জারি করুন

 আটকাবস্থায় রিমান্ডের নামে নির্যাতন বন্ধ করতে বিশেষ প্রজ্ঞাপন জারি করার জন্য স্বরাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রীর প্রতি আহ্বান জানিয়েছেন জাতীয় মানবাধিকার কমিশনের চেয়ারম্যান মিজানুর রহমান।

গতকাল সোমবার ঢাকা রিপোর্টার্স ইউনিটিতে ‘বাংলাদেশ সংখ্যালঘু মানবাধিকার প্রতিবেদন ২০১০’ প্রকাশ উপলক্ষে আয়োজিত এক অনুষ্ঠানে তিনি এ আহ্বান জানান। গ্লোবাল হিউম্যান রাইটস ডিফেন্স (জিএইচআরডি) এবং বাংলাদেশ ইনস্টিটিউট অব হিউম্যান রাইটস (বিআইএইচআর) ওই অনুষ্ঠানের আয়োজন করে।

এতে স্বরাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রীর উদ্দেশে মিজানুর রহমান বলেন, ‘আটকাবস্থায় নির্যাতন, মৃত্যু কাম্য নয়। এটি বন্ধে আইন দরকার নেই। শুধু একটি প্রজ্ঞাপন জারি করুন।’ যদি কেউ নির্যাতন করেন, সঙ্গে সঙ্গে তাঁকে সাময়িকভাবে বহিষ্কার করা এবং তদন্তে দোষী হলে তাঁর বিরুদ্ধে আইনি ব্যবস্থা নেওয়ার কথা উল্লেখ করে ওই প্রজ্ঞাপন জারির অনুরোধ জানান তিনি।

আইনশৃঙ্খলা রক্ষাকারী বাহিনীর হাতে নির্যাতন ও হত্যার ঘটনা তুলনামূলকভাবে কমেছে উল্লেখ করে মিজানুর রহমান বলেন, ‘তবে আমরা চাই, এটি শূন্যের কোঠায় নিয়ে আসতে।’ সংখ্যালঘুদের মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘনের ঘটনাও লক্ষণীয় মাত্রায় কমেছে বলে মন্তব্য করেন তিনি।

অনুষ্ঠানের আয়োজকেরা জানান, ২০১০ সালে সারা দেশে সংখ্যালঘুদের ওপর মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘনের এক হাজার ৬৫০টি ঘটনা ঘটেছে। এর মধ্যে তাঁরা ৭০টি ঘটনার তদন্ত করেছেন। তাঁরা আন্তর্জাতিক সম্প্রদায়ের কাছে এ প্রতিবেদন প্রকাশের কথা জানান।

আয়োজকদের এ বক্তব্যের পরিপ্রেক্ষিতে মানবাধিকার কমিশনের চেয়ারম্যান প্রথমেই এটি না করার অনুরোধ জানিয়ে বলেন, ‘শুরুতেই বহির্বিশ্বের কাছে না গিয়ে আগে কমিশনকে বলুন। কমিশন কিছু করতে ব্যর্থ হলে বহির্বিশ্বে যান।’

অনুষ্ঠানে মূল প্রতিবেদন উপস্থাপন করেন বিআইএইচআরের নির্বাহী পরিচালক শাহানূর ইসলাম। অনুষ্ঠানে অন্যদের মধ্যে বিআইএইচআরের সভাপতি মোহাম্মদ আলমগীর, নেদারল্যান্ডস-ভিত্তিক মানবাধিকার সংগঠন জিএইচআরডির পরিদর্শক রবীন্দ্র ঘোষ প্রমুখ বক্তব্য দেন।

Rights group appalled by situation of Bangladesh religious, ethnic minorities Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/briefs/articles/90036739?Rights+group+appalled+by+situation+of+Bangladesh+religious,+ethnic+minorities#ixzz1G1GuMT7U

Report finds that rights defenders continued to be threatened and many remained in exile for fear of persecution should they return to Bangladesh.

A human rights group says the situation of religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh is appalling.

clearpxl The annual Global Human Rights Defense report, released at a press conference in Dhaka, said that women were subjected to incidents of assault, rape and institutional gender-based violence in the form of extrajudicial punishments and arbitrary detention in the name of their "safe custody."

GHRD, based in The Netherlands, said that despite electoral promises of the new democratic government led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina to bring about crucial change, religious and ethnic minorities and women still remain vulnerable to abuse in the majority Sunni Muslim country.

The report, presented by Shahnoor Islam, executive director of Bangladesh Institute for Human Rights (BIHR), said that rights defenders continued to be threatened and many remained in exile for fear of persecution should they return to Bangladesh.
Attacks against Hindus, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians, Dalit and ethnic communities persisted in 2010, said Rabindra Ghosh, GHRD national observer for Bangladesh.

Pervasive among all the cases investigated was a lack of due diligence by the police, impunity for perpetrators, and a general lack of justice for those attempting to pursue their case.

“It can be argued that the changes instituted are simply cosmetic and remain solely in the theoretical and legal sphere, providing a ‘human rights alibi’ for the government,” the report said.

Dr. Mizanur Rahman, chairman of the Bangladesh Human Rights Commission, claimed that extrajudicial deaths by an elite anti-crime squad have significantly curtailed since the commission brought attention to the issue.

However, he said that serious human rights abuses continue unabated, especially on the issue of religious freedom. Most of the incidents of religious freedom and violence are against ethnic communities. Rahman, a law professor, considered the attacks to be largely politically motivated.

HR violation prevalent in country: HRC chief

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman Khan on Monday said human rights violation is prevalent in the country despite its rate decreasing.

Prof Khan said torture in custody will reduce considerably if the home ministry issues a notice announcing special punishment for it.

He was addressing a press conference to launch a report on Human Rights of Minorities in Bangladesh in 2010.

Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) jointly organised the press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity in the city.

The NHRC chief said some 28 posts are lying vacant in the commission due to bureaucratic tangles, which is hampering its activities a lot.

“Bureaucrats create obstacles to the appointment process ignoring the Prime Minister’s directive,” he commented.

The NHRC chief urged the human rights activists to inform them first about any human rights violation instead of foreigners.

“Anybody can inform it to foreigners if the commission fails to protect human rights. Please come to us and create pressure on us so that we can play our role. It is our duty to protect the image of the country,” he said.

Reading out a keynote paper, BIHR Executive Director Shahanur Islam said repression on the minority communities including Hindu, Ahmadiyya Muslim and Christian is very common in Bangladesh.

He called for ensuring neutral investigation into the incidents of human rights violation so that the victims can get justice.

He also urged the government to implement the Vested Property Act immediately and announce timeframe for implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts peace accord.

BIHR President Mohammad Alamgir presided over the programme.

HR of minority groups improves

Human rights of the minority community have slightly improved in 2010 in the country due to some effective steps of the government, according to a recent human rights report.
The report said 2010 saw some improvement for minorities as members of minorities held several important positions of the government and some steps were taken towards controlling the curriculum of Madrasha.

Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) jointly prepared the report titled ‘Human Rights Report 2010: Minorities in Bangladesh’, which was released at Dhaka Reporter
s Unity yesterday morning.

The report discussed key human rights issues and specific incidents of abuse against women and minorities during January to November 2010. Among them, 50 incidents were investigated.
The government is yet to publish its list of returnable property pursuant to the proposed Vested Property Return Act, aiming at returning occupied property to Hindus that was grabbed under the Enemy Property Act, the report said.
It found that despite the ruling party’s election pledge to end all extra-judicial killings, torture and deaths at the hands of state authorities has persisted. In December the High Court reaffirmed the government’s declared sediment that all extra-judicial killings must be brought to end.
The report said the government has failed to implement integral clauses of 1997 Chittagong Hill Tract Peace Accord, aiming at bring peace in the CHT. Land disputes and lack of protection of indigenous rights to land remain the main cause of conflict in the CHT.
The report said religious, ethnic and social minorities are facing various forms of discrimination and violence. It was observed that within minority groups, children and women are particularly vulnerable.
In 2010, GHRD and BIHR investigated violence perpetrated against mainly religious and ethnic minorities as well as Dalits (untouchable) and women.
The perpetrators of violence against minorities were often in a superior socio-economic position, or they were local criminals, and sometimes they belong to extremist groups or youth parties, the report said.

In some cases, involvement of ruling party members or politicians were also reported or alleged. In most of the cases the victims had a little assistance from police, who in some instances even assisted the perpetrators, the report said.

It suggested ensuring effective, independent, prompt investigation of human rights violation to bring those responsible for the violation before court and provide access to justice and rehabilitation for the victims.

The report also suggested fulfilling all obligations in relation to the CHT peace treaty and declare a clear process and timeline for effective implementation of the accord; fully implementation of the UN declaration on rights on indigenous people (2007).

The report recommended amending the Prevention and Repression against Women and Children Act 2000 so that it is fully in harmony with international human rights standards.

The other recommendations include taking stronger efforts to enforce promises to end extra-judicial punishments, including village arbitration and killings; and implementation of the Human Rights Defender Protection Act.

NHRC chairman for returning vested properties to minority

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman has urged the government to form a special committee to return the vested properties to the minority community.
“I recommend forming a special committee headed by Prof Abul Barakat, who is working in the field, to return the vested properties to the minority community,” he said at a function marking the release of human rights report at Dhaka Reporter
s Unity (DRU) yesterday morning.

Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) jointly prepared the report, titled ‘Human Rights Report 2010: Minorities in Bangladesh’.

Chaired by BIHR president advocate Mohammad Alamgir, the function was also attended, among others, by GHRD observer in Netherlands advocate Rabindra Ghosh and general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad advocate Ranadas Gupta.
BIHR executive director advocate Shahanur Islam read out paper highlighting the salient aspects of the report.

Speaking as chief guest, Prof Mizanur Rahman recommended issuing a special circular by the Home Ministry with a view to maintaining law and order apart from protecting human rights in the country.

“I believe the issuance of such a special circular will help improve the human rights situation significantly,” he said.

The NHRC chairman said though Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina already gave a directive to appoint some 28 people in the Commission, it is yet to be implemented due to negligence of some bureaucrats.

He claimed that the human rights situation has been improving in the country since his appointment in the NHRC in July last year.

“We’ve been able to create mass awareness… extra-judicial killings have decreased at a visible rate. We want to bring extra-judicial killings to zero level,” he said.

Red tapism blamed for Poor manpower

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman, Dr. Mizanur Rahman, on Monday blamed bureaucratic tangle for the lack of required manpower in NHRC. Rahman said the commission is yet to get the 28 professionals whose appointment was cleared by the Prime Minister four months ago.

The NHRC chairman was speaking on the sidelines of a programme organized by Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) on the occasion of publishing Human Rights Report-2011 on the minorities in Bangladesh.

BIHR executive director Shahanur Islam presented the report at the conference.

Attend the programme as guest of honour, Rahman said: “If we are not able to increase our staff, we must work with the manpower we have in our hands to protect people's rights.”

Regarding the conception of human rights, he said crime and violation of human rights is not the same thing.

 “When crimes are committed and the state machinery remains inactive to solve the crisis, it can be marked as violation of human rights. But when criminals come under trial for acts against the state, it cannot be considered as a threat to human rights,” Rahman said.

Crimes must not be categorized as acts of repression against any caste, creed or religion, he said, but if people of any particular religion suffer repression with the government's patronization, it is violation of human rights, he said.

NHRC chairman for special committee to return vested properties

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman on Monday urged the government to form a special committee to return the vested properties to the minority community.

"I recommend forming a special committee headed by Prof Abul Barakat, who is working in the field, to return the vested properties to the minority community," he said at a function marking the release of human rights report at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the morning.

Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) jointly prepared the report, titled 'Human Rights Report 2010: Minorities in Bangladesh'.

Chaired by BIHR president advocate Mohammad Alamgir, the function was also attended, among others, by GHRD observer in Netherlands advocate Rabindra Ghosh and general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad advocate Ranadas Gupta. 

BIHR executive director advocate Shahanur Islam read out paper highlighting the salient aspects of the report. Speaking as chief guest, Prof Mizanur Rahman recommended issuing a special circular by the Home Ministry with a view to maintaining law and order apart from protecting human rights in the country. 

"I believe the issuance of such a special circular will help improve the human rights situation significantly," he said.

Human rights of minority groups slightly improves: Report

The human rights of the minority community has slightly improved in 2010 in the country due to some effective steps of the government, according to a recent human rights report.
The report said 2010 saw some improvement for minorities as members of minorities held several important positions of the government and some steps were taken towards controlling the curriculum of Madrasa.

Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) jointly prepared the report titled 'Human Rights Report 2010: Minorities in Bangladesh', which was released at Dhaka Reporters Unity Monday morning.
The report discussed key human rights issues and specific incidents of abuse against women and minorities during January to November 2010. Among them, 50 incidents were investigated.

The government is yet to publish its list of returnable property pursuant to the proposed Vested Property Return Act, aiming at returning occupied property to Hindus that was grabbed under the Enemy Property Act, the report said.

It found that despite the ruling party's election pledge to end all extra-judicial killings, torture and deaths at the hands of state authorities has persisted. In December the High Court reaffirmed the government's declared sediment that all extra-judicial killings must be brought to end.

The report said the government has failed to implement integral clauses of 1997 Chittagong Hill Tract Peace Accord, aiming at bring peace in the CHT. Land disputes and lack of protection of indigenous rights to land remain the main cause of conflict in the CHT.

The report said religious, ethnic and social minorities are facing various forms of discrimination and violence. It was observed that within minority groups, children and women are particularly vulnerable.

In 2010, GHRD and BIHR investigated violence perpetrated against mainly religious and ethnic minorities as well as Dalits (untouchable) and women.

NHRC chair for new commission to return vested property

National Human Rights Commission chairman Mizanur Rahman on Monday suggested for the appointment of a commission to find out a mechanism for the restoration of vested properties to their owners or their successors.

He made the suggestion while speaking at a news conference jointly hosted by Global Human Rights Defense and Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights at Dhaka Reporters Unity on the occasion of publication of ‘Human Rights Report 2010: Minorities in Bangladesh.’

He also suggested for appointing economist Abul Barakat as the head of the commission as he had worked on the issue for long.

He said that the commission should be required to submit an annual report to the president of the republic on March 31proposing to return the vested properties to their owners, implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty and to ensure constitutional recognition of the ethnic minorities.

He called for treating all incidents of human rights violations without any discrimination.

He said that human rights violations should not be seen from the angle of religion or ethnicity as some quarters tend to do.

He blamed the bureaucracy for not providing the required personnel to the human rights commission, even after prime minister gave her approval in October, 2010.

He said that it would be a miscalculation to think that by withholding its personnel vested quarters would succeed in keeping the human rights commission inactive.

Mizan said that extrajudicial killings and torture in custody were continuing and that it would take time to bring it to ‘zero level’.

GHRD observer Rabindra Ghosh said that in 2010 1653 incidents human rights violation were recorded and 200 more in January and February 2011.

BIHR president Mohammad Alamgir, Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikkya parishad general secretary Rana Dasgupta and BIHR executive director Shahanur Islam also addressed the ceremony.

Custodial Deaths: NHRC chief wants strong govt warning

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday urged the home minister to issue a circular with a strong warning against custodial deaths.

If the circular is issued, it will help bring down the rate of custodial deaths and improve human rights condition in the country, he said.

Mizanur was speaking at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity on publication of "Human rights report on Minority community in Bangladesh, 2010" jointly conducted by Bangladesh Institute of Human` Rights (BIHR), Dhaka and Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD), the Netherlands.

Mentioning the limitations of the commission, he blamed the bureaucracy for lack of sufficient manpower in his organisation. 

"Now we have a total of eight staff while the government approved the appointment of 28. Bureaucrats are doing it to hinder the commission's activities," he said.

He termed the Vested Property Return Act a means of discrimination against minority communities and recommended forming a commission headed by noted economist Prof Abul Barakat to return the properties to their real owners.

He criticised some human rights NGOs for not having a clear conception of human rights.

"They do not know what constitutes a violation of human rights or crime," he said.

Presenting the findings of the study, GHRD observer Rabindra Ghosh said at least 2,153 incidents of violation of human rights against minority communities happened last year. 

Human rights situation improved last year compared to previous years although assault, rape and violence against the Hindu, Ahmadiyyas, Christians, Dalits and indigenous communities continued, he said.

The observer placed some recommendations to protect human rights of minority communities.

They include -- impartial investigation into the incidents and justice to the victims, implementation of the CHT peace accord 1997, steps to stop fatwa and village arbitration and review of Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 2000.

Rana Das Gupta, general secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, and officials of the GHRD and the BIHR were present at the press conference.