EP delegation for immediate end to violence, extrajudicial killing

Expresses concern at enforced disappearances

Staff Correspondent
The visiting delegation of European Parliament subcommittee on human rights meets leaders  of Awami League at the party president’s office in Dhanmondi on Thursday. — New Age photo

The visiting delegation of European Parliament subcommittee on human rights meets leaders of Awami League at the party president’s office in Dhanmondi on Thursday. — New Age photo

The visiting European Parliament delegation on human rights that met both government and opposition representatives on Thursday called for an immediate end to the increasing violence.
It also echoed calls from the international community and Bangladeshi civil society to solve the political crisis.
The three-member delegation which will leave Dhaka today ending its four-day visit iterated European Parliament’s concerns in a follow-up to its resolution of September 2014 over enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
The delegation led by Cristian Dan Preda of The European People’s Party said freedom of expression was also a matter of concern which was discussed with multiple interlocutors.
During discussions the members of the delegation paid special attention to civil and political rights against the backdrop of violence generated by the current political impasse.
‘Peace and stability should not be restored at the expense of civil and political rights,’ said a release issued by the delegation on Thursday evening before its departure. It said freedom of expression was a fundamental pillar of a pluralistic and vibrant democracy.
Members underlined the need for consolidating democratic institutions and iterated their expectations that the draft Foreign Donations Act should guarantee adequate space for civil society organisations to continue working for the betterment of the situation of vulnerable populations. ‘This is also critical for the smooth implementation of EU funded development projects,’ the release said.
It said the European Parliament considered human rights and democracy an essential element of the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the EU, in accordance with article 1 of the 2001 bilateral cooperation agreement.
The delegation came to Dhaka on February 16 with an aim to assess the current human rights situation in the country, focusing on the areas of labour rights, children and women and minority rights.
The other members of the delegation were Josef Weidenholzer of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and Karol Karski of European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

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