Senator Janet Rice, a Greens senator for Victoria, said that Bangladesh is a hotspot of human rights abuses where hundreds of people have been murdered by the government security forces.
In her speech, on Thursday 12 November, in the Australian Senate about concerns on the human rights situation in various countries across the globe, she said that Bangladesh deserves more attention from the international community.
She cited a bipartisan letter jointly issued by several US Senators where they called for sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion, a Bangladeshi elite police force, for continuing with extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture in custody.
The US Senators have demanded sanctions by the US State and Treasury Departments on senior RAB commanders as they have reportedly killed more than 400 people during gunfights on the streets since 2015.
The Senator also mentioned views of the Amnesty International and the UN experts where they expressed concerns about distorted strategies adopted by current Bangladeshi regime to persecute the oppositions and to censor information and freedom of expression there.
“Australia needs to be doing more to be supporting free and fair general elections in Bangladesh, and to work for a democratic environment that will encourage people’s participation and protect human rights”, Senator Rice said.
Her speech in the Senate on human rights situation in Bangladesh came only about a month after a motion about the same subject was introduced in the NSW Parliament by another Greens MP Mr David Shoebridge.
Concern among the international community regarding government-led killing, abduction and arrest of opposition leaders, activists, writers and journalists in Bangladesh has been increasing in recent times.
These recent steps taken by several Greens leaders have been highly appreciated amongst the Bangladeshi-Australian community.