Bachelet expressed no concern over situation in Bangladesh: justice minister

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Justice Minister Anisul Huq said on Sunday that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, had not raised any concerns about the human rights situation, but that the two parties had discussed a number of issues.

He said the issues included the Digital Security Act (DSA), deceased writer Mustaq Ahmed who was arrested under the DSA and later died; training of law enforcement personnel on aspects of human resources, freedom of the press and freedom of expression; and general rights issues.

The government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attaches great importance to human rights issues as she is also a victim of human rights abuses, Minister Huq told reporters after his meeting with Bachelet at the Padma State Guest House Sunday afternoon.

“I strongly supported him (to the UN rights chief),” the minister said, adding that Bangladesh has always, especially the government of Sheikh Hasina, defended human rights and worked on the how its violations can be stopped by applying the laws. “Bangladesh will always remain active.”

When asked if the human rights chief had expressed any concerns, Minister Huq replied: “No, there were no concerns but discussions”.

Read: UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet in town

He said they had discussions on many issues and he reiterated those issues on the DSA in the meeting that he has shared with the media here before for the past few months.

Huq said discussions were ongoing with his office about DSA best practices and he had received a report in this regard. He said they are making a decision on the next steps he takes in the report.

Justice minister says UN rights chief asked about Mustaq Ahmed, but she didn’t ask any further questions after minister read Mustaq’s post-mortem report .

He said they have focused on training law enforcement personnel on human resources issues.

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