Saturday, 9 March 2013

National Commission for Repression of Human Rights

If any political party tries to damage public properties resorting to militancy, it can be banned with an executive order, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chief said on Saturday.

“This type of parties had not been banned earlier. But if any party continues such destructive activities, it can be banned constitutionally,” Mizanur Rahman said after visiting victims of recent vandalism and arson by Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir men in Banshkhali upazila.

You may wonder: what on earth does the chief of a human rights organisation have to do with commenting on issues of a political nature? Well, it's all rather easily explained once you realise that this man, Mizanur Rahman, happens to be one of the most unprincipled, spineless, immoral and politically compromised clowns to have walked on the face of the planet. He was appointed as head of the NHRC in 2010, when he said that

...his office will work with a view to making people aware about human rights and establishing the rule of law to ensure people's welfare like the human rights commissions of other countries.
The government will have to tolerate criticism if any of its offices violates human rights of the people, he added.

Here's his record since  then:

- in December 2011, he said that the ICT 'fulfils all international standards'

- at around the same time, he comes up with this:

Jamaat-e-Islami, he pointed out, had appointed.
lobbyists in the US, the UK and the European Union to lengthen the process of the trial, and had been spewing propaganda against the tribunal in the international media.
The NHRC chairman said there were political motives behind the opposition to the trial.
"The High Court has also heard appeals regarding the law that deals with the creation of the tribunal. Which country in the world has given more privileges to perpetrators of crimes against humanity?" he asked. 

(making it quite clear there that he already considers the defendants guilty)

- in January 2012:

Anyone who is questioning the International Crimes Tribunal is questioning the national judicial system and therefore, the very sovereignty of the country, said Prof Mizanur Rahman, chairman of National Human Rights Commission.
"The government answered these questions many a time and gave assurances that the war crimes trial will be of international standard," he said.
"If it were me, I wouldn't even bother answering such questions", the NHRC Chairman said while addressing a roundtable discussion at CIRDAP Auditorium in the city yesterday. 

- July 2012, on HRW criticising RAB:

 A foreign organisation like Human Rights Watch cannot recommend disbanding the Rapid Action Battalion, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Mizanur Rahman said yesterday.
"It solely depends on Bangladesh. The government will decide which force will be in action and which will not," he told a view-exchange meeting at the court premises in Narayanganj city's Chandmari area.

 - January 2013, after Azad is sentenced to death in absentia - having been defended by an Awami League sympathiser who presented no witnesses or documents in defence of his client:

“We were eagerly waiting for this verdict. I am happy over the death sentence being given for crimes against humanity ... but at the same time, the verdict also leaves me a bit unhappy,” Rahman said.

He was happy as this verdict had started the culture of accountability, and he was somewhat frustrated since Bachchu Razakar was still out of law’s reach, the NHRC chief explained.

He also emphasised on implementation of the verdict fast. “Now I only wish that he [Bachchu Razakar] is nabbed anyhow and the verdict is executed. Trial of all those who committed crimes against humanity must be finished quickly.

Mizanur Rahman may well be the first human rights activist ever to have called for the swift execution of a death penalty.

- Feburary 2013, after the parliament passed retroactive legislation enabling the prosecution to demand a harsher penalty for Mollah - a move described by HRW as a mockery of justice:

"In war crimes trial process, prosecution didn't have the scope like the defence (for appeal against verdict on any war crimes case). Now, the prosecution has been empowered with equal scope and the trial has been promoted to the International standard through the amendment to the act," the NHRC Chairman said while addressing the same programme.

How this guy became a professor of law at Dhaka University is beyond me. Then again, in Bangladesh, everything seems possible.

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