UN rights office says misinformation spread over Bachelet’s press briefing

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet

United Nations high commissioner for human rights office has said some Bangladeshi media has spread misinformation on the high commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s final press briefing at Switzerland’s Geneva.

The UN rights boss held the press conference on 25 August before her tenure ends on 31 August.

The high commission’s spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani at an email sent to Bangladeshi media said, “We regret the misinformation”.

“As you must be aware, the High Commissioner extensively discussed her concerns about a wide range of human rights issues in her meetings with government, civil society and other interlocutors and in her end-of-mission statement in Dhaka. As the High Commissioner had already extensively covered the human rights issues in Bangladesh, she chose to focus her 25 August end-of-mandate statement in Geneva on global issues (climate change, the food, fuel, finance crisis, civic space, etc.) affecting all countries - including Bangladesh - as well as the Rohingya anniversary which was on the day itself. This was not meant to be a "global report".”

The email reads high commissioner said in her statement in Dhaka that acknowledging the challenges is always the first step to overcoming them and the UN human rights office stands ready to assist in following through on the recommendations made by the high commissioner, as well as other work towards promotion and protection of human rights in Bangladesh.

Michelle Bachelet visited Bangladesh from 14 to 17 August. During her press briefing concluding the visit, Bachelet urged Bangladesh to recognise the allegation of human rights violations.

Bachelet also said she issued of her grave concern regarding the allegation of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture in her meetings with Bangladesh government authorities.

The UN rights boss also stressed on the need of an independent, impartial and transparent investigation body for probing the allegation of human rights violation in Bangladesh.