UN body deems govt explanations for enforced disappearance "insufficient"
The government has finally responded to the Human Rights Council's Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for the first time in 26 years.
The group, however, deems its explanations about enforced disappearances cases "insufficient".
The United Nations body had communicated with the government about at least 76 cases of enforced disappearances over the decades, requesting information and explanations.
On January 10 and February 5 this year, the government finally replied.
The information transmitted on 66 of the concerned cases were insufficient for any clarification, the group said in its post-sessional report of the group's 126th session published on April 22.
"The Working Group appreciates the engagement of the government of Bangladesh, notably the information received in relation to many outstanding cases.
"However, the Working Group requests that the Bangladeshi authorities take decisive steps to initiate the search for disappeared persons or their remains," said the report, adding that searching for forcibly disappeared persons is a continuing obligation.
Prior to this, the government had responded to the UN body only on one occasion -- the disappearance of Kalpana Chakma.
The report said that based on the government's response, eight cases can be possibly clarified by it (also called six-month rule).
These cases are that of Mohammed Mahmud Hasan, Mohammad Altaf Howlader, Mohammed Hasinur Rahman, Mohammad Siddiqur Rahman, Mohammad Abdullah al-Faruq, Mohammad Akhter Hossain, Shamim Uddin Prodhan and Mohammad Rafiqul Islam.
The report also states that the UN body transmitted two cases to the government under its "urgent procedure" -- those of Imam Mahady Hasan and Mohammad Omar Faroque.
It added that Hasan was allegedly abducted on November 6, 2021, by a group of individuals in plainclothes, presumably affiliated with the Rapid Action Battalion, in Mymensingh's Phulbaria.
Faroque was allegedly arrested on February 5, 2014, by eight Rab members and the Detective Branch of Police during a raid on his relative's house in Chattogram.