[Sushanta Das Gupta, UK]
The European Parliament has been keeping track on our current events, including the student riots, detainment of teachers, violation of Human Rights on many instances and the attack on the Press and Electronic Media.
On 6th September, the EU Parliament website released a resolution on Bangladesh. The resolution states that the EU is highly concerned about the arrest of the Ex. Prime Ministers, Freedom of Press and the re-establishment of Democracy. It calls for lifting the state of emergency, banning of political activities so that parties can prepare for the coming election.
Below are the highlights from the European Parliament resolution of 6 September 2007 on Bangladesh.
The European Parliament:
Is deeply concerned about the disproportionate response of the military and the police against the student protests which erupted in late August 2007 at Dhaka university; considers that the demonstrations were evidence of the unpopular political role played by the army; welcomes the fact that the curfew imposed in Dhaka and five other cities because of these protests was lifted on 28 August 2007; calls for the immediate release of the persons who have been arrested subsequent to the students’ and teachers’ unrest, including members of the teachers’ association Shikkhok Samity, i.e. Anwar Hossain, Harun Ur Rashid, Saidur Rahman Khan and Abdus Sobhan;
Is deeply concerned about the arrest and justification for ongoing detention of Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, arrested on 16 July 2007 and charged with extortion, and of Bangladesh Nationalist Party president Khaleda Zia, charged with corruption; calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to conduct the trial in a transparent way and according to the rule of law; more particularly, calls on the government to base its anti-corruption campaign solely on facts relevant in the context of criminal proceedings concerning corruption;
Is deeply concerned about the conditions under which Sigma Huda, who has been sentenced on bribery charges is imprisoned, in particular the lack of any medical treatment which she urgently needs; urges the Bangladeshi authorities to provide Ms Huda with all the necessary medical treatment and help required by her health condition; calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to respect the fundamental rights of Ms Huda, in particular the right to receive visits from her family and friends in prison; urges the authorities to immediately allow these visits;
Regrets that the Caretaker Government, while making progress on tackling corruption, has been far less assertive on political reform; calls for a return to democracy and the lifting of the state of emergency in Bangladesh; calls in particular for the lifting of the ban on all political activity, in order to enable all parties and political organizations to prepare for open and fair elections, as provided for under the constitution;
Calls on the Caretaker Government to make progress with the creation of a National Human Rights Commission, the implementation of which should also be a priority for the future civilian government.
It is clear that the international community, including EU, is keeping a watch over the Government