Lamenting the deterioration of the state of human rights in the country, a recently launched civil society body has called for greater unity to ensure the security of the citizens.
Referring to their claim that rights violation has become epidemic in the country, the rights body said that from January to April this year, at least 118 citizens were killed in alleged ‘gunfights’, 354 women were raped, 234 children were raped and 144 were killed while 6 were allegedly abducted.
The civil society members, under the banner of Nagorik Nirapotta Jote (Citizen’s security alliance), came up with the remarks at a press conference demanding rule of law, accountability and ensuring justice at National Press Club on Saturday.
The alliance, the speakers said, has been formed consisting of different social rights bodies of the country.
Speaking at the programme, Transparency International Bangladesh’s (TIB) executive director Iftekharuzzaman said that the prime minister had pledged inclusive development in the country but that was not happening. Free thinking and freedom of expression is being stymied. People are not being able to participate in the development process and there is no accountability anywhere.
He also said the institutions of the country should be reformed to stop widespread politicisation.
Nijera Kori’s coordinator Khushi Kabir said the culture of fear has become pervasive all over the country.
She urged all to protest unitedly to ensure democracy in the country.
Rights leader Hameeda Hossain alleged that the government is not taking any steps regarding human rights violation. They were even flouting directives of court.
Former chief election commissioner (CEC) ABM Shamsul Huda read out a written statement of the newly floated alliance that declared their 11-point demands.
The demands included ensuring justice for extra judicial killings, safeguarding citizens’ freedom of expression, safety of religious and ethnic minority, strengthening the anti-corruption commission and also the election commission.
They also declared programmes such as staging countrywide human chains and protests, submitting memorandums to the prime minister and other government bodies, to press home their demands.