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Don't defend anyone's unlawful activities

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01st-Aug-2019       
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THE Bangladesh delegation attending a UN convention on Tuesday faced a volley of questions about human rights violations and repression against the country's citizens. The 28-member team, led by Law Minister Anisul Huq, had to deal with the queries as it submitted the country's first periodic report at a session of the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) in Geneva. This was the first time Bangladesh submitted a report to the CAT since the country's accession to the UN body in 1998. Most of the queries the team faced were regarding the role of law enforcement agencies and impunity given to them despite their alleged involvement in torture and custodial death.
In the seven-page report to the CAT, Bangladesh Law Minister elaborated on different measures the government had taken since 2009 to create a suitable environment for ensuring justice and people's rights.  In response to the report, the CAT said while the report was prepared by the government, it provides information solely about the country's legal and policy architecture related to the prevention and punishment of torture.
Referring to the Torture and Custodial Act 2013, the Law Minister said in the report that the government enacted it to give effect to the convention and also as part of the government's unequivocal commitment to the obligations of international human rights instruments. The minister mentioned some judicial directives, especially from the Supreme Court in this regard. The minister also provided information on 94 complaints against Rapid Action Battalion. Following investigations, 49 of those were found to be false and 44 were confirmed.
Even after killing more than 350 accused criminals, including drug traders, excepting kingpins and dozens of missing opposition men allegedly by law enforcers in the recent years, the Law Minister took a role to defend all the unlawful activities. We must say, the authorities concerned must establish human rights and bring all lawbreakers under legal scanner.

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