The government has expressed its utter disappointment at the adoption of a resolution by the European Parliament 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 judgmental comments over sub-judice matters and a court verdict on two ‘Odhikar’ officials delivered today (Thursday) in Dhaka is reflective of their intention of interfering in the independent judiciary of a sovereign state,” reads a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the European Parliament passed a resolution expressing their deep concern at the ‘deteriorating human rights situation’ in Bangladesh.
The foreign ministry’s statement said 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 restriction, influence, inducement, pressure, threat or interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.”
The government 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, the statement said.
It’s a fact known to all that ‘Odhikar’ Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan was appointed deputy attorney general by the BNP-Jamaat government and he worked in that capacity for five years from 2001 to 2006, the ministry said.
“Therefore, ‘Odhikar’ is not at all a neutral or independent organisation that it tries to claim and is unfortunately believed by some in the international community. To support and promote an organisation 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 statement added.
The government of Bangladesh disagrees with the text of the resolution, it said.
Bangladesh deeply values its 50-year growing partnership with the European Union and all of 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 in each other’s internal affairs, the statement said.