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The government protested the UN statement

Bangladesh has protested a statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). On Sunday (January 14), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed this protest in a statement.

The statement mentioned that the attention of the Bangladesh government has been drawn to a recent press release on Bangladesh from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The government found that the OHCHR violated the mandate.The statement misrepresented the facts. At the same time it repeats the politicization and biased assessment of human rights. In this context, the government wants to highlight the correct observation.

Free, fair and peaceful elections were held on January 7 with public participation in line with the government’s firm commitment to uphold democratic principles. The election day was unusually peaceful except for a few isolated incidents in a few polling stations, which was echoed by many international election observers and journalists who covered the election on the ground.

The government believes in an inclusive democracy, the statement said. But unfortunately the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has decided to stay out of the electoral process on the pretext of unconstitutional demands of caretaker government provisions. It is unfortunate that the BNP resorted to violence and killing innocent people to subvert the democratic process, as the party did in the previous national elections.

It further noted that since October 28 alone, BNP activists have killed 24 people, including innocent civilians and law enforcement personnel on duty. They set fire to around 1000 public and private vehicles. Derailed and attacked the train, burning passengers including a mother and her three-year-old child alive. In this context, ensuring a peaceful election was indeed a challenge.Despite such widespread violence, the response of members of the law enforcement agencies was restrained, logical and within legal limits.

OHCHR allegations such as arbitrary mass arrests, threats, enforced disappearances, blackmailing and surveillance by law enforcement officials are baseless and unsubstantiated. The number of arrests is a mere exaggeration. Those involved in or inciting violence and illegal activities were arrested and prosecuted. This system was necessary to maintain the rule of law and protect the rights of all citizens.The government rejects the agency’s claim that many human rights defenders have been forced into hiding, and that some have fled the country.

This is far from reality and a simple example of irresponsibility on the part of OHCHR. It is important to verify information from the office before using it in public statements.

Bangladesh will be governed by the people’s mandate to realize the spirit of the Constitution, international human rights commitments and people’s desire to uphold human rights.

It welcomes constructive criticism and is always ready to address any valid concerns. Bangladesh looks forward to continuing cooperation with the United Nations and its human rights mechanisms.

The statement on Bangladesh was issued by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on January 8.

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