110 countries of the world have made 301 recommendations on human rights issues including peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections to Bangladesh. The draft of the UPR report of Bangladesh was accepted at the meeting of the working group of the UN Human Rights Council’s ‘Universal Periodic Review (UPR)’ or the universal review process in Geneva on Wednesday night.
The human rights situation in Bangladesh was reviewed under the UPR last Monday. In that review ceremony, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Haque pledged to advance the human rights situation including free and fair elections.
Cuba, Pakistan and Romania were responsible for preparing the draft report of the Bangladesh UPR. On behalf of the troika, the representative of Romania presented the draft report of Bangladesh’s UPR in last night’s session. The draft report was accepted as no state objected.
Then M. Sufiur Rahman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva addressed the session of the UPR Working Group.
He said that 110 countries participated in the discussion and gave their opinions on the UPR of Bangladesh. In addition, 12 countries contributed to the review by sending questions in advance. He thanked them all.
The Ambassador of Bangladesh said that Bangladesh has highlighted legal and regulatory developments in advancing human rights in its report. Bangladesh has strong commitment to UPR. After examining all the recommendations, Bangladesh will report this to the UPR.
Spain has recommended Bangladesh to sign the International Convention on the Protection of Disappearances and the Optional Protocol on the Convention against Cruel Punishment. Slovakia has recommended Bangladesh to make the national elections to be held next January transparent and free.
The United States recommends protecting Bangladeshis’ ability to vote and elect a government by ensuring peaceful, free and fair elections in Bangladesh. The country also recommended that allegations of human rights violations against members of law enforcement agencies should be investigated, held accountable and prosecuted.
Several countries including Australia, Brazil have recommended abolition of death penalty in Bangladesh. The Netherlands has recommended the repeal of Article 377 of the Penal Code for ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Others (LGBTQI Plus)’ and other related laws. The country also recommended Bangladesh to amend its cyber security law to bring it in line with international human rights law. Switzerland has recommended Bangladesh to follow a policy of non-refoulement of Rohingya asylum seekers.
Out of the 301 recommendations, which Bangladesh will not accept, it will inform through the UPR framework, government sources said.