(BNP Communication) — Britain has described the human rights situation in Bangladesh “deeply concerning”, citing allegations of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Tariq Ahmad, minister for human rights in the UK Foreign Office, mentioned Bangladesh in his statement on the universal periodic review at the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Bangladesh remains a “human rights priority country” for the United Kingdom.

He said: … allegations of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances are deeply concerning. Pressure continues on freedom of expression and assembly, including in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, as well as broader societal pressures on freedom of religion or belief and signs of groups gaining influence who promote religious intolerance.
These issues, along with forced labour and human trafficking, are areas I call on the government, working with civil society, to address, he added.

Ahmad made three recommendations to the Sheikh Hasina government – increase labour inspections and take action against individuals and organisations that subject migrant workers to forced labour, and human trafficking. He asked the government to protect freedom of expression and assembly in media, politics and religion, and work with civil society to address concerns including in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

“Work with civil society to develop a roadmap to implement Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance,” he added.