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EU worried about human rights, media freedom in Bangladesh

Visiting EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore held talks with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed in Dhaka on Tuesday (July 25) morning.

Following the talks, Gilmore told journalists that they discussed human rights situation now prevailing in Bangladesh.

“I think that the relationship between Bangladesh and European Union is very good. Economically, our ties are stronger. We have made a number of suggestions on human rights situation in Bangladesh. A EU delegation which came to Bangladesh to monitor election situation has already left the country. They will submit their report soon. But, the EU is worried about the human rights situation and freedom of mass media in Bangladesh ahead of the election,” he said.

NHRC chairman Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed said the NHRC is working on extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances in Bangladesh. “These incidents are very unfortunate for us. Our image has been tarnished to foreigners by these incidents. We didn’t discuss much anything about the election. But, we must refrain from doing anything during the election which tarnishes the image of our country.”

European External Action Service (EEAS) Political Adviser Viktor Velek, Ambassador Charles Whiteley and First Secretary (Political) Sebastian Riger-Brown, among others, were present at the meeting.

Gilmore, who arrived in Dhaka on Monday on a six-day visit, will hold meetings with government officials and other stakeholders to discuss human rights issues.

He will also discuss with government officials concerned the Rohingya issue and will visit refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Gilmore is likely to hold meetings with Law Minister Anisul Haq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, according to official sources.