European Parliament wants an end to RAB’s impunity

European Parliament wants an end to RAB's impunity

The European Parliament (EP) in a resolution on Thursday urged the Bangladeshi authorities to put an end to RAB’s impunity.

The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) also said human rights violations by members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an emergency force created 10 years ago comprising both military and police officers, should stop.

The MEPs also called on the Bangladesh government to make sure that labour laws are enforced and brought into line with International Labour Organisation standards, according to the EP.

They also suggested that the Donor Trust Fund mechanism, created by the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee to help victims and survivors following the Rana plaza factory collapse in 2013, be made mandatory, as voluntary company donations have only reached USD 17 million, leaving USD 23 million outstanding.

Earlier, the EP had a debate on a joint motion for a resolution on human rights violations in Bangladesh.

The EP, according to the joint motion, commended the Bangladesh government for the progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which has resulted in significant real-life improvements for millions of its citizens.

It, however, expressed concern over continued human rights violations by Rab and other security forces, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of opposition activists.

The EP joint motion reiterated its call for the abolition of the death penalty and welcomed the Supreme Court decision to commute the death sentence handed down by the International Crimes Tribunal to Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to imprisonment until death.

It called on the government to immediately release anyone subjected to enforced disappearance and urged the government to establish an independent body to investigate such cases.

The EP reiterated its call on the government to establish an effective and fully independent human rights commission.

It urged the government to recognise and respect freedom of the press and media and to allow human rights groups to play an important role in strengthening accountability and documenting human rights abuses.

The EP joint motion also urged the Bangladeshi authorities to revoke the new media policy and abide by their obligations to allow free speech and expression.

Source: Prothom Alo


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