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BANGLADESH: Odhikar submits report on Universal Periodic Review

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bdesh_army.jpgOdhikar, a Bangladeshi human rights organisation, and FORUM-ASIA member, has submitted the Universal Periodic Review on Bangladesh jointly with International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) on 1 September. The report covers the period between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2008.

The five-paged report includes 13 points of concerns on the current human rights situation in the country, obligations unmet and pledges forgotten and 16-point recommendations.

The joint report mentions the issues of illegitimacy of the government, state of emergency, status of women, misuse of power of security forces including police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and impunity among others.

The military-backed government came into power since 11 January 2006, citing pre-election violence. But Odhikar claims that the government which is in power for over 20 months does not have any legitimate authority to rule when there should have been general elections within 90 days of formation of caretaker government.

The report also criticizes the continued state of emergency though the situation does not demand such measure. Violence against women is also highlighted in the report. It mentions the prevalence of acid violence and rape as serious issues which the government has failed to tackle.

The report also mentions the state's national and international pledges including steps against torture, upholding rights of women and the minorities, removing reservations made under the various international instruments and ratify some others.

Bangladesh's 17 pledges made during its elections to the Human Rights Council for the improvement of human rights situation have not been materialized, the report explains.