Bangladesh urged to heed UN recommendations on torture

Geneva, July 30 (IANS) Bangladesh should implement the recommendations made by the UN Committee against Torture to end the widespread practice of torture in the country, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

The Committee’s first review of Bangladesh under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment will be from July 29 to August 8 in Geneva.

Bangladeshi security forces were seldom held accountable for serious allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of people in custody, the rights body said.

Instead, authorities have cracked down on rights groups, activists and journalists for exposing these violations.

Bangladesh, for the first time, agreed to come under review by the Committee since ratifying the Convention against Torture over 20 years ago, by submitting its long-overdue state report on measures it has taken to uphold its commitments under the treaty.

The government claimed that it “has already undertaken several measures to improve the responses from the authorities and bodies responsible for promotion and protection of human rights and also the quality of access to justice for the victims of torture”.

But Human Rights Watch said: “Bangladesh’s appearance before the UN Committee Against Torture is an important opportunity to acknowledge the endemic use of torture by the country’s security forces.

“The government should adopt the Committee’s recommendations, enforce existing laws against torture, and send a clear message to security forces that it’s serious about eradicating torture.”

–IANS

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