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Tuesday, June 19, 2018 05:13:57 AM
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Ensure proper probe

EU concern over extrajudicial killings, abductions, disappearances

EU concern over extrajudicial killings, abductions, disappearances
photo by NN Photo

Ambassador William Hanna, the head of delegation of European Union speaking at a press conference on the occasion of Europe Day at Lakeshore Hotel in the city on Thursday.

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The European Union (EU) on Thursday expressed concern over the recent incidents of extrajudicial killing, abduction and disappearance, and demanded proper investigations into all the cases to ensure justice.
"We've expressed our concern, and we continue to express our concern.  All cases should be properly investigated and (perpetrators) be brought to justice," Ambassador William Hanna, Head of Delegation of the EU to Bangladesh, told a joint press conference at a city hotel on the occasion of the Europe Day.
Acting British High Commissioner Nick Low, Denmark Ambassador Hanne Fugl Eskaer, Netherlands Ambassador Gerben Sjoerd de Jong, Spain Ambassador Luis Tejada Chacon, France Ambassador Michel Trinquier, German Ambassador Dr Alberecht Conze, Charge d' Affaires, Sweden Embassy Karin Rohlin and Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of Italy, Edmondo Falconi were also present.
Responding to a question, Hanna said they have expressed their concern through the government and called for investigations to take place in all cases, and hoped that justice will be ensured following those investigations."The rule of law is so important to the lives of people. We really feel this is so important, and justice should be done. That's why we did take up these questions with the government," he added.
Hanna also said the rule of law is a prerequisite to allowing citizens to exert their rights in a country. "In recent weeks, we've made known our concern about the many extrajudicial killings which have been reported, and about the harassment of human rights defenders. We remain concerned about these issues as well as the situation of minorities in Bangladesh."
He also said the EU calls for full implementation of the CHT agreement and for protection for the human rights of Rohingya refugees. "We continue to recall the universal values of democracy and respect for human rights which lie at the heart of the cooperation agreement between the European Union and Bangladesh," Hanna said.
The diplomat said the European Union expressed concern on several occasions about democracy in Bangladesh over the past year. "In December, we decided not to observe the general elections, for reasons you're all aware of."
British Citizen's Disappearance
British diplomat Nick Low also expressed displeasure over the disappearance of UK chapter BNP's vice president Mujibur Rahman Mujib, a British citizen, and his driver.
"We would like to see every possible effort is made for his and his driver's safe return," he said mentioning that the matter is taken up with the government high-ups and related ministries. Nick Low mentioned about the missing BNP leader Elias Ali who disappeared two years ago, and demanded his safe return as well. Hanna added with Nick Low saying there is a need for proper investigation into each case whether the person is a UK citizen or Bangladeshi citizen. "Justice is very important."
Political Dialogue
The EU renewed its call for dialogue among major political parties to find a solution before the future elections.
"We've made the position quite clear. We called for dialogue and we renew that call. We still think that's the way forward," said Hanna. Asked why the renewed call for dialogue, he said there have to be dialogue for having some solutions before fresh elections.
"I think it's probably necessary to deal with the problems first. But it's not really for us to prescribe the ways. We think this (dialogue) is the way forward. But it's not for us to say exactly how that should be done," Hanna said.
He mentioned that they, in Europe, do the same when problems arise.
"We sit down and discuss. We think this is the way forward."
Hanna said the EU encourages and supports the aspirations of the people of Bangladesh for an inclusive and democratically accountable society. "Building on the government's commitments, the EU supports a participatory democracy with transparent and decentralized systems of governance."
On compensation of Rana Plaza victims, Hanna said, "We call for rapid and full compensation. It's one of the important aspects." He said all need to work together to ensure that all the commitments freely entered last year are met.
Hanna said a substantial progress on labour issues is important for Bangladesh's continued preferential access to the EU market, not only for RMG products but for all goods it exports to the single EU market. "The European private sector is also playing its part to make sure factories are safe," he added.

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