Bangladesh gov't to explian disappearances to UN

Dhaka (The Daily Star/ANN) - The Bangladesh government will have to explain disappearances of people in the country before United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chief said yesterday.

Bangladesh will have to attend the Universal Periodic Review session in January next year and submit a report on human rights situation in the country, NHRC Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman told reporters after a seminar at Bidyut Bhaban auditorium in the capital.

The government in the UNHRC session will face questions about the disappearances, he said expressing deep concern over frequent reports of people going missing.

It is the state's responsibility to ensure security of every citizen, he said demanding that the government immediately find out BNP leader M Ilias Ali who along with his driver has been missing since Tuesday night.

"The government can handle the missing incidents internally, but it will have to be accountable to international organisations," Mizanur said.

When asked whether the disappearances are happening due to failure of law enforcement agencies, the rights body chief avoided giving a direct answer.

Referring to the murder of journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, he said, "After investigating an incident for two months, if law enforcers admit before the court that they have failed to find out any clue, that worries people. They (law enforcers) themselves acknowledged their failure".

The seminar the NHRC chief attended yesterday was on "Full rights of daughters to inherit properties in the absence of sons" organised by the Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh and Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha.

Mizanur and other speakers, including Law Minister Shafique Ahmed, at the seminar stressed the need for establishing equal rights for women everywhere, even inheriting properties.

After the programme, the law minister also talked to reporters about Dhaka City Corporation polls. He said the election would be held after the court verdict.

As the issue remains pending with the court, it will decide when and how the election will be held, he added.

Following a writ petition, the High Court on April 16 stayed holding of the DCC polls for three months, as the procedure required for the elections had not been completed. The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the HC order.

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