The US human rights report 2022 has portrayed an awful democratic and human rights situation in Bangladesh, said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday.
“I felt ashamed reading the US human rights report as it depicted that there’s no shred of democracy and human rights here (Bangladesh),” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said the report highlighted how people have been subjected to crossfire, extra-judicial killing and enforced disappearance. “The report also focused on how the rights of people have been snatched and how journalists have lost their rights to divulge the truth… such a terrible picture of the country has been revealed in the report.”
KM Obaidur Rahman Smriti Sangsad arranged a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, marking 16th death anniversary of ex-BNP secretary general KM Obaidur Rahman.
Earlier on Monday, the US Department of State's 2022 report on Human Rights Practices was released where it highlighted different issues of Bangladesh, including the last general election, the incidents of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, and lack of press freedom, labour rights, and freedom of assembly.
However, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said has said the US human rights report has some fundamental shortcomings.
Fakhrul said the ruling party leaders are now criticising the US saying the country does not look at itself though it is releasing reports on the human rights situation in different countries. “The US has been preparing the report for the whole world as they look at themselves.”
He said the US has been working as the leader of democracy around the world since they gave democracy an institutional shape in their own country.
Fakhrul alleged that Awami Legaue has established an autocratic, authoritarian and fascist regime very consciously by destroying democracy in Bangladesh.
He said their party has long been carrying out a movement to restore democracy and people’s rights braving various repressive and suppressive activities by the government.
The BNP leader said the entire country has now turned into jail while 35 BNP leaders and activists are facing ‘false’ cases.
Fakhrul alleged that Awami League destroyed all the democratic institutions and snatched the minimum rights of the country’s people to materialise its old dream of establishing one-party Baksal rule.
He regretted that Awami League does not want to remember the national leaders who played outstanding roles in building an independent Bangladesh. I won’t say it’s the biggest failure of Awami League in this area. I would say it’s criminalisation as they do not know anyone but their own man. They want to belittle all."
The BNP leader also said Awami League does not utter the name of Tajuddin Ahmed, Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq and MAG Osmani. “They don’t mention the name of Ziaur Rahman because they consider him their biggest opponent.”
Fakhrul said BNP is moving ahead with its plan to create a mass upsurge by uniting all democracy-loving people and parties to establish a government of people by ousting the Awami League regime.
Speaking at the programme, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President ASM Abdur Rob said Awami League elections and democracy and voting rights of people. “They’re elected by rigging votes and stealing ballots. “They themselves stuff the ballots in the boxes and say that the people have voted for them.”
He also said that Awami League says things which the party itself does not believe.
The JSD leader also said the country is now under a parliamentary dictatorship in the name of parliamentary democracy. “People are now no longer the owner of the country as all the power is in the hands of an individual. “This government must be overthrown through a mass uprising."
Speaking at the programme, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said KM Obaidur Rahman was a successful politician who played a significant role in liberating the country and establishing people’s rights.
“Such politicians are now not remembered. Names of people who have contributed to the country are being systematically erased,” he observed.