BNP MP Rumeen Farhana alleged in Parliament on Wednesday that police stations in the country do not want to register complaints of families of those who are subjected to enforced disappearances for lack of rule of law in the country.
Speaking on a cut-motion on Law Ministry, she said three people — trader Noman, madrasa student Nasim and mosque Imam Shohidul in Narayanganj’s Araihazar -- remained missing for nearly a month.
Having failed to get any cooperation from local police stations, Rumeen said the family members of the three missing men held a press conference in the capital seeking the whereabouts of their near ones. “Nothing can be known yet about their whereabouts and there’s no discussion about it since they aren’t celebrities.”
She said Bangladesh was supposed to present a report on the country’s human rights situation to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) in 1999, but the report was placed nearly 20 years later under immense pressure.
She said CAT expressed deep concern over the incidents enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killing, torture, snatching individual’s freedom, taking bribes and some other issues of Bangladesh after the report was submitted.
Also read: Two BNP central leaders quit
Besides, the BNP female MP said a report of the US State Department says that the government or its agents are involved in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance and torture on people while journalists and others are being harassed and arrested willfully.
She said the UN and other international rights bodies repeatedly urged the government to take specific steps to prevent repression and violation of human rights by the law enforcers. “A few months back they made the same call.”
Rumeen said every incident of enforced disappearance, repression on Hefazat activists, taking confessional statements by force, extrajudicial killing, torture on common people by law enforcers are crimes against humanity. “These incidents also manifest how a state has collapsed.”
She said these incidents cannot happen at a regular interval if there is minimum rule of law, judiciary and minimum values of democracy in the country.
Later, Law Minister Anisul Huq slammed Rumeen for raising the issues irrelevantly.
Also read: AL changing democratic structure: BNP
“Rumeen Farhana seems to have forgotten that I’m the law minister. We’re here talking about the issues of the Law Ministry. Everything she said was a matter for the Home Ministry, but she has imposed those on me.”
The minister said the BNP MP raised the issue as she got a chance to speak. “I would like to tell her not to make irrelevant comments.”
Later, speaking on a cut-motion on the Education Ministry, Rumeen said though the issues are relevant to the Home Minister, the Law Minister went to the UN and responded to these questions before the CAT. “But now he has imposed these issues on the Home Minister.”
She said new universities are being set up through enacting laws, but it is necessary to think about the standards of those universities and their teachers.
Stating that the UK-based QS published the world university ranking 2021, the MP bemoaned that neither Dhaka University nor Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) are there in the list of 800 prime universities.
Rumeen also criticised the government for keeping the educational institutions shut for a long time showing an excuse of coronavirus when everything is open.