In a puzzling display of misplaced priorities, an Australian senator has chosen to express purported concerns over so-called ‘human rights violations’ in Bangladesh. This misguided attempt to project an air of moral superiority raises eyebrows, as it appears to be more of a political posturing rather than a genuine commitment to human rights.
One cannot help but question the senator’s selective focus on Bangladesh, while turning a blind eye to the myriad of challenges that nations around the world grapple with. It seems convenient to ignore the complex socio-political landscape of Bangladesh and oversimplify the situation to fit a predetermined narrative.
The senator’s statements lack nuance and fail to acknowledge the significant strides that Bangladesh has made in addressing various issues. From economic development to improvements in healthcare and education, the country has demonstrated a commitment to progress that is often overlooked by those with tunnel vision.
Actual scenario of Bangladesh in terms of security forces on duty
A total of 228 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB, which is a paramilitary force) have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order as the countrywide blockade is been running by the opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Rail and waterway called by the BNP and like-minded opposition parties is underway since October 28, 2023 after the rally.
Meanwhile 430 patrol teams of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB, which is a specialized unit of police under military command) have been deployed across the country including 1045 patrol teams in the capital to make sure of maintaining law and order in the increasing arson attacks.
Rab is ensuring security of long-distance public transports and goods carrying transports in different parts of the country, said Imran Khan, assistant superintendent of police, at the media wing of RAB headquarter.
RAB officials are continuing to keep a closer look on the transport stands, stations and other important places to prevent any kind of sabotage or violence, he added.
BNP and like-minded opposition parties called for blockades and hartals, with failure after the general election schedule announced by the EC.
Recently there are being some interference of other countries on the current political situation of Bangladesh, many countries are trying to make this internal security situation an issue of the human rights violation.
Australia concerned about the current situation of Bangladesh? Or is it external interference over Bangladesh?
Recently in the concern of one of the influential Senators of Australia, David Shoebridge urged his government to do everything that it can to address the reported human rights violations in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world.
David Shoebridge is the leader of the Australian Greens. With the help of this party, the ruling Labor Party formed the government after 9 years on May 23, 2022. Anthony Albanese was sworn in as Prime Minister of the government.
In a speech in the upper house of the Senate of the Parliament of Australia, he explained the reason for such a call, saying that the election will be held in Bangladesh on January 7 next year, amid widespread political unrest and political repression. Recently the country’s main opposition party will not participate in that election.
Senator David Shoebridge expressed alarm at the government’s response to political unrest. Australian Greens leader Shoebridge cited Human Rights Watch’s designation of the situation as a ‘violent authoritarian crackdown,’ with concerns echoed by Amnesty and the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Australian community shares deep concerns about the well-being of their families and communities in Bangladesh, which is actually very unnecessary. Shoebridge emphasized the need for global attention to ensure the best possible outcome for the people of Bangladesh.
Earlier, Senator Janet Rice, a notable environmentalist and human rights activist in Australia, previously urged the Australian government to take decisive action against reported human rights violations globally, particularly in Bangladesh. Speaking in the Australian Parliament on February 8, Senator Rice pointed out ongoing abuses by the Bangladeshi government, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and the arrest of journalists and critics under the Digital Security Act. Stressing the significance of addressing these atrocities, safeguarding civil society, and promoting human rights, she called for the Australian government’s intervention and a strong stance against these violations.
On the 4th of October this year, 15 Australian MPs also call for Magnitsky sanctions on anyone trying to hinder free, fair elections in Bangladesh.
PM talks about Election
The Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed party leaders and workers in Kotalipara Upazila, Gopalganj, stating that elections have been brought into order with the formation of the Election Commission for the first time after the passage of the law. She emphasized the importance of following election discipline, with symbol allocation scheduled for December 18, and noted the aim to make the Election Commission permanent.
She criticized the BNP-Jamaat alliance, accusing them of violent tactics, including attacking police and ambulances during movements. Sheikh Hasina drew parallels between their actions and those in conflict zones, particularly mentioning Israel. She alleged a history of violence and unlawful actions by the Zia family, linking them to illegal seizures of power and the killing of army officers, soldiers, and freedom fighters in the discussion meeting.
Highlighting her government’s achievements, Sheikh Hasina pointed to progress since 1996 and contrasted it with setbacks during the BNP-Jamaat rule. She discussed initiatives for food security and development, ultimately leading to Bangladesh’s status as a developing country. The Prime Minister also shared personal challenges, including surviving attacks and bombings, expressing gratitude for the support of the Bangladeshi people.
The exchange meeting included various party leaders, with Kotalipara Upazila Awami League President Bhabendranath Biswas presiding over the event. The meeting involved discussions on local issues and included the participation of Members of Parliament, advisory council members, and other party officials.
The Australian Senator’s concerns about alleged human rights violations in Bangladesh are criticized for displaying a disconnect from the ground reality and a failure to understand the nuanced challenges facing the country. The senator’s statements sadly proved that he was unable to recognize Bangladesh’s efforts to maintain law and order amid political unrest.
The increased security measures aim to ensure citizen safety and protect public infrastructure from violence and sabotage. The senator’s call for international intervention in the context of upcoming elections is seen as an oversimplification of a complex political landscape, and there’s a plea for a more constructive approach through diplomatic dialogue rather than grandstanding.