NHRC chief opposes mass arrest

Staff Correspondent

15 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has opposed mass arrest without individual allegation and requested the authorities concerned to avoid such acts for defending human rights.

NHRC chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said this while addressing a sharing meeting on Universal Periodic Reporting (UPR) organised by United Kingdom-based Article Nineteen in the capital on Thursday.

Reazul claimed that mass detention may sometimes lead to violation of human rights when someone is being punished without any involvement in crime. The meeting was organised to review the progress of Bangladesh in freedom of expression segment in the global human rights reporting process.

Front Line Defenders Protection Coordinator Sayeed Ahmed made presentation on the state of UPR implementation in Bangladesh while Article Nineteen Regional Director Faruq Faisel moderated the meeting.

In his speech, the NHRC chief requested the law enforcement agency to consider scarcity of space in jails across the country.

Mentioning the overcrowded prisons across the country, Reazul Hoque said, “The authorities should consider space scarcity in jail buildings. Besides, the authorities spend extra money on maintenance of overcrowded jails. We have found that over 4,000 people are kept in Cox’s Bazar jail, which has the capacity of around 570 inmates.”

Terming media and civil society members ‘major defenders of human rights’, the NHRC chief said media and rights organisations have to continue constructive reporting for betterment of the state without abuse of freedom of expression.

He also proposed appointing a focal point at every public office as spokesperson on human rights issue. Meanwhile, the NHRC chief visited Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj on Thursday afternoon to meet Badal Farazi, a Bangladeshi youth, who was serving a life sentence in India for a decade before returning to country in July last year.