Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof Mizanur Rahman on Tuesday said it will not be possible to ensure human rights in the country if there is no political will.
“Wherever you see, you’ll find a lot of problems, but we must resolve the problems. Establishing human rights is not possible if there’s no political will,” he told the inaugural session of a workshop in the capital in the morning.
The NHRC chief said when a state patronises criminals, the incidents of human rights violation become endemic in the country.
The NHRC organised the workshop on ‘the Follow-up on Implementation of 2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Bangladesh’ at Ropushi Bangla Hotel.
Prof Rahman said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of the nation, returned home on January 10 in 1972 from Pakistan and announced at a rally in the city that from now on the country is for all, including minorities and all castes.
“Recently, 10 people were killed at Kalshi in the capital. The government must take responsibility for this incident.”
About extrajudicial killings, he said, “The government frequently claims that there is no extrajudicial killing in the country, then what happened to Narayanganj?”
Mizanur Rahman said he earlier alleged that the law enforcers were involved in ‘abduction trade’ and raised the issue to the government, but two influential ministers opposed his allegation. “If the state gives such impunity to criminals, the human rights violation will be widespread.”
Referring to his recent visit to Rajshahi central jail, he said children and women inmates have been suffering untold miseries in the prisons. “Nobody bothers about the human rights in the prisons. Are we performing our duties properly?” he questioned.
The NHRC chairman alleged that the prisoners are not produced before court in time for hearing since the lawyers appointed by the government to give legal aid to the detainees do not perform their duties. “What’s happening in the name of legal aid?”
He urged the Chief Justice to look into matters whether magistrates perform their duties properly.
Human rights adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Bangladesh Mika Kanervavuori, former chief of New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission Rosslyn Noonan, senior secretary of Home Ministry CQK Mustaq Ahmed and NHRC full-time member Kazi Rezaul Hoque, among others, spoke at the inaugural session of the workshop.