Bachelet arrives in Bangladesh amid NGO complaints of human rights violations

Dhaka, Aug 14 The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday as part of a three-day official visit in which she will visit the Rohingya refugee camps, amid international NGO complaints of human rights violations. in the country.

Bachelet landed in Dhaka this morning and was received by the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister, AK Abdul Momen, a UN human rights official, Zahid Hossain, told Efe.

This is the first visit of a person in charge of the United Nations Office for Human Rights to Bangladesh, during which Bachelet plans to meet with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, as well as with members of the National Human Rights Commission, and non-governmental organizations.

Bachelet will also travel to Cox’s Bazar, where a good part of the 925,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing from neighboring Burma reside, especially since the start of the Burmese Army’s operations in 2017, an operation that the UN described as ethnic cleansing and possible genocide.

The visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is preceded by the call by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and eight other international organizations to publicly call for an end to the serious abuses committed by the security forces during their visit to Bangladesh. .

HRW revealed last year that nearly 600 people had been victims of enforced disappearance at the hands of security forces since Prime Minister Hasina took office in 2009.

Some of the victims were critical of the ruling Awami League, and while the government has consistently denied that security forces are involved in enforced disappearances, the United States has imposed sanctions on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for alleged human rights abuses. humans.

The Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the country “warmly welcomes” Baschelet’s visit, but warned against “politicizing the human rights agenda.”

“The politicization of the human rights agenda never helps to promote and protect people’s rights, on the contrary, sincere dialogue and cooperation are the way,” Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Bangladesh “categorically rejects” efforts to “cast the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as an occasion to exert undue pressure on the government,” it added. EFE


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