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Friday, September 19, 2014, Aswin 4, 1421, Zilqad 23, 1435 Hijr

EU Parliament hails Sayedee verdict
Appreciates Child Marriage Prevention Act; castigates HR violations by RAB
Publish Date : 2014-09-19,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 30
Staff Correspondent
The European Parliament (EU) has welcomed the verdict of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh awarding Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee life imprisonment till death for committing crimes against humanity during Bangladesh's independence war, commuting a death sentence handed down to him by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) a year ago.
The EU Parliament in a resolution on the state of human rights in Bangladesh appreciated the government's 'zero tolerance policy' towards any violation of human rights by the law enforcement agencies. It also noted with satisfaction the enactment of Police Reforms Act providing for a code of conduct, model police stations and victim support centres in key police stations.
However, the EU parliament expressed concern about continuing human rights violations in Bangladesh by the RAB and other security forces, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killing of opposition activists.  
The EU parliament resolution welcomed the adoption of the Child Marriage Prevention Act on September 15, 2014 by the government.
It commended the government's achievements in MDGs that resulted in significant real-life improvements for millions of people in the country. It appreciated that the government accomplish it under difficult domestic circumstances, including the constant threat of violent attacks by radical groups such as BNP-backed Jamaat-e-Islami party.
The EU parliament also took note of reform programmes in the garment industry, but urged the government to fully implement the Action Plan it agreed with the ILO in May 2013, including the recruitment and training of inspectors and thorough inspection, with public records, of its many thousands of factories. The EU further urged the signatories to the Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh to live up to their commitments, including with regard to financial compensation for victims and minimum standards.  
It regretted the fact that as on June 2014 the total amount raised by voluntary company donations to the Donor Trust fund was just $17 million, leaving $23 million outstanding, and therefore, the voluntary principle has failed the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster and that a mandatory mechanism is urgently needed.
EU emphasised the importance of an independent, impartial and accessible judicial system to enhance respect for the rule of law and for the fundamental rights of the people.
It called for building public confidence in the judiciary, security and human rights institutions in view of the increased threats in the region from terrorist organization such as Al-Qaeda.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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