Protesting on-going Israel's air strikes on Gaza, cultural activists, journalists, and general people under the banner Sacheton Nagorik Samaj form a human chain in front of Chittagong Press Club yesterday. Photo: Star
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman yesterday accused some countries of maintaining a double standard over Israel's assault in Gaza.
These countries are supporting Israel even if it is breaking all international laws and norms, while they will talk about the internal affairs of Bangladesh, he said.
“We have to understand the politics behind their defence of human rights,” Rahman told a discussion, “Bangladesh's Engagement with UN Special Procedures”, in the capital's Cirdap auditorium.
Since the beginning of the air strikes, more than 192 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and several hundreds injured and displaced.
Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain o Salish Kendra, which organised the discussion, lamented that even a civilised world was unable to prevent Israel from committing such gross violations of human rights in Gaza.
About the Special Procedures system, which is a central element of the UN human rights machinery, Prof Rahman said Bangladesh should let in UN's special rapporteurs, who visit different countries and report on human rights issues there.
Before the discussion, Sayeed Ahmed of the Human Rights Forum said there were only two visits of special rapporteurs in the last 10 years while nine requests of visits were awaiting response.
Sadia Muna Tasneem, director general (UN and Human Rights) of the foreign ministry, however, said the government was never in denial, and it would try to let in one rapporteur every year.
Dina M Siddiqi, professor of Brac University, and Ranjan Karmakar, executive director of Steps Towards Development (STD), also spoke.
Meanwhile, in Chittagong, cultural activists, journalists, and general people formed a human chain in front of Chittagong Press Club under the banner Sacheton Nagorik Samaj, calling the killings by Israel genocide.