AFAD voices concern over disappearance cases in Bangladesh

The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), a Manila-based international regional rights group, has voiced concern at the recent spate of enforced disappearances in Bangladesh.

“In a single district of Munshiganj, eight bodies have been found in a period of one week,” AFAD said in a joint statement.

It said many families are claiming that their relatives were disappeared after members of the law-enforcing agencies picked them up.

The statement, which was singed by Mugiyanto and Mary Aileen D. Bacalso, president and secretary general of the AFAD respectively, said the recent spate of enforced disappearances is alarming and only adds to the disrespect for human rights, the long practice of impunity; and a weak criminal justice system prevalent in Bangladesh at this time.

AFAD urged the Bangladesh government to take immediate initiatives to search for and recover the disappeared people, take actions against the perpetrators.

“We also urge Bangladesh to accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,” it said.

Bangladesh is a signatory to the major international conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR,) International Covenant on Social and Economic Rights (ICSER), Convention Against Torture (CAT) and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which protect the rights of people from various crimes and injustices.

“We remind the Government of Bangladesh, since it has been elected for the second term at the UN Human Rights Council, that it has the duty to ensure the right to life and protection of the law. Regardless of who perpetrated the crime, it is the duly of the state to see that proper justice is done,” it said.

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