The US government’s report on Bangladesh’s human rights situation in 2013 is baseless and inaccurate, says State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan.
“The USA is a friendly country for us…it’s our development partner. Its report on Bangladesh’s human rights situation is not based on facts. The US secretary of state was not provided with accurate information,” he told UNB on Saturday.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry formally released the ‘2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’ in a press briefing at the US Department of State in Washington.
The report in its Bangladesh section – Bangladesh 2013 Human rights Report – mentioned that weak regard for the rule of law not only enabled individuals, including government officials, to commit human rights violations with impunity but also prevented citizens from claiming their rights.
“The government neither released statistics on total killings by security personnel nor took comprehensive measures to investigate cases, despite previous statements by high-ranking officials that the government would show ‘zero tolerance’ and fully investigate all extrajudicial killings by security forces,” the report said.
The state minister said, “This government doesn’t believe in the politics of killing and forced disappearance. We can say steps have been taken against those carried out the terrorist activities.”
Mentioning that the number which was provided in the report is inaccurate, Asaduzzaman Khan said that 2-4 people might have been killed when police fired shots in self-defence while arresting terrorists.
About the report’s claim that the government has failed to control the country’s law enforcement agencies, the sate minister said, “This not right. The government has the full control over its law enforcement agencies.”
The report said that authorities failed at times to maintain effective control over security forces and security forces reportedly committed human rights abuses.
“The most significant human rights problems were arbitrary arrests, regulation of online speech, and poor working conditions and labor rights,” the report added.
On another allegation of gagging the media, Asaduzzaman Khan said the country’s media are working independently.