Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB) yesterday expressed deep concern and frustration over the appointment of new members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
In a press statement, the platform of 20 leading rights and development organisations claimed that NHRC, without any discussion with other stakeholders, gave priority in appointment of individuals who have no work experience of human rights.
The consortium -- consisting Ain O Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Nijera Kori and Transparency International Bangladesh, among others -- called on the electoral committee to pursue an open and participatory process in line with the Paris Policy on National Human Rights Institutions before the appointment process begins.
No discussion have been held or negotiated with the stakeholders in the process, said the statement signed by its convener Sheepa Hafiza.
HRFB alleged that after nearly ten years of establishment, the role and neutrality of NHRC remain questionable for various reasons, and feared that transforming the institution as a workplace for retired government officials will raise further questions about its effectiveness.
On September 22, a gazette notification of the law ministry was issued about the appointment of former senior secretary Nasima Begum as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Two other members of the commission are also retired secretaries.