May 22, 2013

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Human Rights Forum Bangladesh Demands Action On Peace Accord

Human Rights Forum Bangladesh has called on the Bangladeshi government to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord.

Below is an article by the Financial Express Bangladesh:



The Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB) on Monday [20 May 2013] demanded time-bound actions to implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, reports UNB.

The rights body also urged the government to take immediate measures to ensure the land rights of indigenous people, and appoint an acceptable head of the CHT Land Commission to remove the longstanding land disputes in the hilly region.

"HRFB is apprehensive about the failure of the authorities concerned in addressing violations of fundamental rights of indigenous communities of the CHT, including instances of rape of indigenous women and minors and lack of deterrent action through neutral and transparent investigations," HRFB President Advocate Sultana Kamal told a press conference.

About the ongoing war crimes trial, she said the forum demanded that the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of worst forms of crimes in 1971 for too long be effectively challenged and that justice be done in accordance with law and due process.

"We also raised concerns about the rights of the families of the victims and those who have been demanding justice."

Sultana Kamal urged all parties to refrain from politicising the trial process, and ensure the highest standard of integrity and credibility of the judicial process.

Describing the present human rights situation of the country, the HRFB president said: "We expect the police and law enforcement agencies to act as protectors of human rights; it is not in our interest to undermine their role but the government has to take steps to end impunity for torture, custodial torture and enforced disappearances of its citizens."