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IPU gets allegations of human rights violation

Govts, ruling party MPs suppress opposition

Kibria murder, August 21 grenade attack trials must be completed soon

By Special Correspondent
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The Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU] standing committee on democracy and human rights affairs has received specific allegations of human rights violation against 459 lawmakers of 42 countries across the globe.
Of the victimized lawmakers, 112 come from ruling party, 336 from opposition party and 11 independent. Of the total, 155 represent America continent, 110 Asia, 63 Europe, Middle-East and North Africa 39 and three from South Pacific.
The IPU committee also found that mainly the opposition party lawmakers are the victims of repression by the governments or the ruling party lawmakers. 
 "In the Dhaka conference, the legislators have thoroughly discussed the incidents of human rights violation against the lawmakers in 173 countries," Fawzia Koofi, committee's chairperson and lawmaker of Afghanistan, said on Wednesday.
Over the human rights violation issue, the standing committee in its resolution said: These victims [lawmakers] have been deprived of getting justice. Most of them have been ousted from the parliaments illegally without maintaining any rules and regulations. 
Some of them have also been arrested. In most cases, there is no scope for freedom of speech to the opposition lawmakers, the resolution adeed. 
Fawzia Koofi, however, categorically blamed "the culture of impunity" for such incidents, where many are getting death threats too. "Illegal suspension, parliament without democracy, ban on freedom of speech and other relating things are creating an unhealthy atmosphere," she said.
Echoing the same, former chair of the committee and lawmaker of Bangladesh Parliament Fazle Karim Chowdhury said: "It's a matter of grave concern that, a large number of lawmakers have become victims of repression in different ways by government or ruling party lawmakers in different countries." Committee sources said in comparison to other countries, the number of repression on opposition parliament member is highest in Turkey where 60 legislators are victims of human rights violation.
The Turkish Government has framed charge against 60 lawmakers accusing them in different criminal offenses including terrorism. Of them, 55 are lawmakers of opposition Democratic Party.
In the same way, 21 opposition lawmakers are facing harassment in Nicaragua, 19 in Malaysia, 14 each in Myanmar and Zimbabwe, five from Sri Lanka, and some others in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Rwanda and Burundi, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the IPU standing committee on democracy and human rights has expressed grave concern over the slow trial process of two highly-sensitized terror hits - Kibria killing and August 21, 2004 grenade attack. It also demanded explanation for the delaying.  
The killing incident of former Finance Minister SAMS Kibria was specifically raised by the lawmakers at IPU's different forums. The IPU in its conference in Dhaka has also expressed concerns over Kibria's assassination.
 "In the Dhaka conference, the issue of SAMS Kibria killing was raised by the lawmakers. Though he was assassinated in 2005, the trial is yet not finished. The IPU has expressed grave concern over the issue. The IPU also wanted explanation why it is taking long time to finish the trial ," IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said on Wednesday.
 "The Bangladesh side, however, has raised the August 21 grenade attack. I hope, the trial of both cases will be completed very soon and the real culprits will be punished," he said.  

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