A total of 423 BNP men were victims of forced disappearances over the last 10 years, the BNP leader says
He was speaking at a roundtable discussion, titled “Absence of Democracy and Systematic Human Rights Violation by State Apparatus,” at a Dhaka hotel yesterday.
The discussion was organized to mark International Human Rights Day 2019.
Representatives from several countries including Pakistan, and of human rights organizations from various countries around the world were present at the session. In addition, family members of individuals killed as well as disappeared in the last 10 years took part in the program.
The BNP leader said: “In the last 10 years, 3.5 million people were sued for political reasons by the Awami League led government. A total of 104,814 cases were filed against them during the period.”
He added: “A total of 1,526 BNP leaders and activists were killed. 781 were victims of forced disappearances during the Awami League government’s tenure.”
Drawing attention to the state of health of the incarcerated party chairperson, the BNP Secretary General said: “As far as I know, Khaleda Zia’s medical report was supposed to be submitted (to the High Court) but it has not been submitted as yet. It is our understanding that arrangements are being made to remove any original report of Khaleda Zia from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and replace it with a fake report.”
“Khaleda Zia has been in jail for 20 months in a false case. In similar cases, other accused have all been granted bail, but she has not been granted bail. In many ways, the government has made sure that she does not end up getting bail,” he said, adding that “the government is trying to fool people by creating a myth of development, but it will never succeed,” he added.
In his remarks, BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said: “Freedom of speech is not there in Bangladesh anymore. Our constitution has granted an independent judiciary, but now we see that the judicial system has completely been destroyed. It has now become a partisan judiciary. If the judiciary is not independent, it is not possible for the people of the country to come by justice.”
“The government has systematically destroyed all the important apparatus and all constitutional institutions in its own interest of staying in power by force,” he added.
Among the diplomats present on the occasion, only the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Shah Faisal Kakar, spoke at the meeting. He referred to the ‘killing of Muslims’ in Indian-controlled Kashmir region.