US HR report on Bangladesh biased: Hasan

DHAKA, March 19, 2019 : Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said the recent US State Department report on human rights practice in Bangladesh is totally biased.

“The report was made taking information from a few organizations like ‘Adhikar’ and ‘Transparency International Bangladesh’ (TIB). That’s why the report is one-sided,” he told a press conference at his secretariat office here.

Hasan said the report described the human rights situation in Bangladesh based on the information taken from some media reports and NGOs not gleaned through their own investigations.

“By and large, it (finding of the report) is more applicable to the USA than Bangladesh . . . We are rejecting the report,” he added.

The minister said the December 30 general election was participatory. It was held peacefully and in a festive mood. And Awami League (AL) achieved landslide victory, he added.

Hasan, also the publicity and publication secretary of the ruling AL, said there were many survey reports before the election which said that the AL would get 57 to 63 percent votes in the polls. And AL got 58 percent votes, he added.

The minister said BNP was confused about the polls. They didn’t run any campaign or publish posters centering the polls. Even, they gave nominations to around 800 candidates for 300 constituencies, he added.

The AL leader said BNP did only nomination business and they nominated unqualified candidates for the polls skipping qualified ones.

“BNP understood their situations as they have no public supports. They joined the polls to make it questionable only. And this was not focused in the USA reports,” he added.

Hasan said around 23 lakh people are in jail at federal and state levels in the USA. “Besides, many people have been killed by police. And such human rights issues in the USA are being criticized around the globe,” he said.

Even, he said, the US government congratulated the Bangladesh government after the election and they told that the relation between Bangladesh and the US is multidimensional.

The minister said, “The US is one of the development partners of Bangladesh. And I think the report would not affect the relations between the two countries. I believe that the human rights situation in Bangladesh is much better.”

Saying that Bangladesh believes in freedom of speech at home and abroad, the minister said anyone can prepare a report, but it should be objective.

Hasan said, “We always welcome criticisms. But the blind criticism is not good for anyone.”