The Government of Bangladesh expresses its utter disappointment at the adoption of a resolution by the European Parliament earlier this week (14 September 2023) on the “Human rights situation in Bangladesh, notably the case of Odhikar”.
The timing and language of the joint motion, tabled by some political groups in the European Parliament, for making judgemental comments over sub-judice matters and a court verdict on two ‘Odhikar’ officials delivered today in Dhaka is reflective of their intention of interfering in the independent judiciary of a sovereign state.
The independent judiciary of Bangladesh continues to ensure that judicial proceedings are conducted openly and fairly and that the rights of the parties are fully respected. Bangladesh judiciary decides matters before them based on evidence and in accordance with the law, without any restrictions, influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.
The Government of Bangladesh is appalled by the favouritism, reflected in the European Parliament’s resolution, to ‘Odhikar’ – a non-compliant and politically biased entity with proven record of circulating misinformation, and an accomplice of vested quarters that promote terrorism and violent extremism. It’s a fact known to all that Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary of ‘Odhikar’, was appointed Deputy Attorney General by BNP-Jamaat Government and worked in that capacity for five years from 2001 to 2006. Therefore, ‘Odhikar’ is not at all a neutral or independent organization that it tries to claim and is unfortunately believed by some in the international community. To support and promote an organization like ‘Odhikar’ in the name of upholding civic and democratic space is tantamount to adoption of a totally subjective, selective, and partisan approach and is a clear manifestation of double standard by those who speak of defending human rights of the victims on one hand and make exposed and imposing attempts to protect the alleged violator on the other.
The Government of Bangladesh disagrees with the text of the resolution.
Bangladesh deeply values its 50-year long growing partnership with the European Union and all its Institutions including the European Parliament and expects continuation of the same through meaningful engagement based on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference into each other’s internal affairs.