Bangla slams HRW's 'false' report on trials of bor
Dhaka: Bangladesh on Thursday termed Human Rights Watch's (HRW) report on the ongoing trials of border guards as an "interference" in its internal affairs and asked the group not to publish such "false" report in future.
The New York based rights group yesterday asked Dhaka to immediately halt mass trials of about 3,000 paramilitary border guards accused of participating in a 2009 mutiny, saying there were serious human rights abuses in the proceedings.
"It (HRW report) is completely false and baseless," Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told newsmen after the HRW's Asia Director Brad Adams called on him along with a delegation of the watchdog.
Ahmed termed the HRW report as "interference in internal matter of the country" and asked HRW to not publish "such report in the future" while "they were convinced about our concern against their allegations".
Home Minister Sahara Khatun, however, smelled a plot to have worked behind the rights group report saying "some vested local and foreign quarters" could be behind it to expose the government to a difficult state.
"A section with an ill motive is hatching such conspiracies to make questionable the law enforcement agencies, particularly the RAB, which has been playing vital role in fighting militancy," she told the first founding anniversary of 11 Armed Women Police Battalion (APBN).
The law minister said he outlined the role and activities of the RAB and other law enforcement agencies to the HRW alongside the trial process of the suspects of 2009 carnage at the headquarters of the frontier force which was called Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) during the 2009 mutiny and renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) afterwards.
"We told them the RAB and other law enforcement agencies perform their duties within their legal framework... One or two isolated incidents (of rights violation) often are reported which witnesses appropriate enquiries and actions," Ahmed said.
The minister said he also told the HRW the ongoing trials of crimes against humanity at the International Crimes Tribunal, Pilkhana carnage are run under the complete purview of the law of the land.
Talking to newsmen Adams, however, said their report was based on adequate information and asserted that it was not "motivated or biased". "Our findings showed that RAB takes people on detention unlawfully... We also want justice for 800 BDR jawans which the court tried them to give punishment shortly."
The report had alleged the suspects in the 2009 BDR mutiny have been subjected to widespread abuse, torture, and deaths in custody and "the mass trials of nearly 6,000 suspects raise serious fair trial concerns".