Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Friday described US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s latest statement on Bangladesh as one-sided, unacceptable and politically motivated.
“After reading this, it seems that someone from Bangladesh might have drafted it and they (HRW) only published it after retouching, nothing else,” he said.
“The existence of these types of organizations is good. But if the organization uses itself or gives statements for serving the interests of individuals and for political purposes by taking information from individuals of different countries, it makes the organization questionable,” he added.
Hasan, also the Awami League joint general secretary, made the remarks while replying to questions from journalists at his Minto Road residence in Dhaka.
The minister further said: “I saw the statement of Human Rights Watch. It is not realistic by any means, rather it is one-sided and politically motivated.”
The minister said it seems as if HRW does not know anything about the human rights situation in Bangladesh apart from two or three issues mentioned in the statement.
The statement contained information that is often cited by a writer and some individuals at different meetings and discussions over the Rain Tree Hotel incident, he mentioned.
He urged HRW to pay attention to human rights violations in the US, from where the organization is run.
A few days ago, the United Nations (UN) and independent human rights experts called on the US to close the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, the minister said.
“Guantánamo is a place of arbitrariness and abuse, a site where torture and ill-treatment were rampant and remain institutionalized, where the rule of law is effectively suspended, and where justice is denied,” the experts said on the 19th anniversary of the establishment of Guantánamo Bay on January 11, 2002.
When asked if the government was more active in repressing BNP than in curbing the Omicron variant, Hasan said rallies by all political parties, not just BNP, have been restricted due to the rising Covid cases.
“Even the Awami League must follow the restrictions,” he added.