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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on human rights violations in Bangladesh

16.9.2014 - (2014/2837(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Marielle de Sarnez, Jozo Radoš, Marietje Schaake, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Cecilia Wikström, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0097/2014

Procedura : 2014/2834(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on human rights violations in Bangladesh


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Bangladesh,

–   having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on Partnership and Development,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

- having regard to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted resolutions 62/149 and 63/168, calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty

–   having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  Whereas there are grave concerns about human rights violations in Bangladesh, including enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment and restrictions on the right to freedom of expression;

B.  Whereas Reporters Without Borders classifies Bangladesh as number 146 in its World Press Freedom Index.

C.  Whereas in some cases, the motives for the enforced disappearances appear to have been political, with the targets being members of the opposition parties; whereas in some other cases, enforced disappearances have been linked to allegations of corruption;

D.  Whereas the use of torture and other ill-treatment persists in Bangladesh despite safeguards in the Constitution, the Penal Code and the Torture and Custodial Death (Prohibition) Act;

E.  Whereas at least four bloggers and two human rights defenders have been charged in the last two years under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act;  

F.  Whereas in May this year, the RAB was, for the first time since its formation in 2004, forced to admit that some of its personnel had been implicated in an enforced disappearance.

G.  Whereas it is estimated there are over 1000 people on death row in Bangladesh.

H.  Whereas the European Union has a strong and unequivocal opposition to the death penalty in all times and in all circumstances

1.  Calls on the Government of Bangladesh to immediately release anyone subjected to an enforced disappearance, unless they can be charged with a recognizably criminal offence, in which case they should be immediately presented before a court; calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to investigate the perpetrators, taking into account command responsibility, and bring those found to be responsible to justice in a fair trial;


2.  Calls on the Government of Bangladesh to establish an independent body to investigate complaints of torture and other ill-treatment; calls on the authorities to bring those responsible for torture or other ill-treatment to justice in a fair trial;

3.  Urges the Bangladeshi authorities to revoke the new media policy and abide by its obligations to allow free speech and expression; urges the government to withdraw its proposed legislation on increasing regulations over NGO’s and ensure that NGO’s are allowed to operate without undue restraint and hurdles;


4.  Condemns in the strongest terms the continued use of the death penalty by Bangladesh and calls for an immediate moratorium on its use.


5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the EU Council, the European Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the UN OHCHR and the government and parliament of Bangladesh.