'BNP’s midterm poll demand baseless'
New Delhi Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2015-02-18 17:23:11.0 BdST Updated: 2015-02-18 17:23:11.0 BdST
Terming BNP’s demand for a midterm election “baseless”, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), an India based think-tank, on Wednesday said that such demand would further worsen the situation.
“A midterm election as the only solution espoused by the BNP is unlikely to deliver either good democratic practice or reduce current levels of violence. Indeed, it is likely to worsen the situation. Bangladesh has reached a point of no return with respect to the unfinished civil war between the Awami League (AL), which sees itself as the sole custodian of Bangladesh’s freedom struggle, and the Jamaat-e-Islami (Jamaats) which had a role in war crimes while opposing the independence of Bangladesh,” the ACHR said in its report Bangladesh: Polarisation, Political Violence & an Undeclared Civil War.
The ACHR also condemned insurgent style tactics of the protesters to target civilians and reminded the BNP led opposition alliance that the Rome Statue of International Criminal Court (ICC) ratified by Bangladesh in 2010 apply to the opposition political parties and the ICC’s intervention following post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 “demonstrates that political parties cannot escape from responsibility for many crimes defined in the ICC statute.”
“The BNP is not a nondescript, marginalised, or scattered opposition or a non-State actor. It is one of Bangladesh’s two main political parties and has held power from 1991-1996 and 2001 to 2007. Its call for free and fair elections is also aimed at coming to power once again through a credible democratic process. The BNP must take all measures to stop violence against civilians, including by those who profess to be its supporters,” the ACHR report said.
The ACHR also called upon the Awami League government to bring an end to human rights violations and establish accountability.
The organisation said that about 90 people have been killed and more than a thousand were injured in the ongoing violent anti-government protests by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led 20-party alliance demanding resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League Government and holding of mid-term elections under a neutral caretaker government since January 5.
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