FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2015
Speaker: Md. Ashrafuzzaman
HRC Section: General Debate – Agenda Item: 4
An Joint Oral Statement to the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC),
FIDH, AFAD on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
BANGLADESH: Continued Enforced Disappearances need to urgently addressed
The Asian Legal Resource Centre, FIDH and the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances thank the Working
Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for its work and call its attention to ongoing enforced disappearances
in Bangladesh and the impunity and repression associated with these crimes.
Between January 2009 and August 2015, human rights groups have documented at least 212 people forcibly disappeared in
the country. Many witnesses have testified to law enforcement agents’ involvement in these cases, and the pattern of
abductions and the profiles of victims suggest that disappearances are used by the government to silence political
opponents. Efforts by victims' families to obtain information or justice have been ignored by the police and the courts;
impunity is the norm. Recent attempts by families to commemorate their disappeared loved ones have been met with
intimidation and restrictions on expression and assembly.
We call for the return of the disappeared to their families, and remind the Bangladeshi authorities of their
responsibility to fully investigate and ensure justice for these crimes. Bangladesh has ratified the Rome Statute of the
ICC; therefore it legally recognizes enforced disappearance as an international crime, and is bound to ensure
Furthermore, the 1992 Declaration on the Protection of All Persons Against Involuntary Disappearances, affirms that
“each State shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent and terminate acts
of enforced disappearance in any territory under its jurisdiction.”
The authorities of Bangladesh are obligated to ensure thorough investigation, prosecution, and punishment for
perpetrators, with the ultimate goal of ending enforced disappearances. The right of families of victims and of rights
defenders to speak out and peacefully assemble must be respected and protected.
We urge the Working Group to request a visit to the country, and the Bangladeshi authorities to accept such a visit as a
matter of urgency.
Thank you for your attention.
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The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights
violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights
Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.