Human right organisation’s double standard

Published : 24 Jan 2022 08:25 PM

Twelve human rights organisations have asked the United Nations to ban members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for engaging with UN peace keeping mission following the US sanctions on some high-ups of RAB who are in service or retired. In a letter to UN Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix they said the United Nations (UNs) of Peace Operations should ban Bangladesh’s RAB from UN deployment. 

The letter was made public recently on the Human Rights Watch website after it was sent privately over two months ago on November 8, 2021. The charges were brought against them by US for violating human rights and abuse of security laws. But the reality is that the members of Bangladeshi security personnel in the UN peacekeeping force have been contributing a lot to maintain peace in many trouble-prone countries. 

It has also been observed that the Bangladesh security force is well-known for their outstanding performances. Even in some affected countries in addition to security purpose, the Bangladesh security forces have been helping many South African governments with administrative works in different fields. A large number of members of security forces had to die during discharging duties and many dead bodies of brilliant sons of the soil were brought back to their relatives every month. Bangladesh feels proud that its brave sons sacrifice their lives to discharge their duties for protection of the humanity. It is known to all that the elite force RAB has done splendid job to maintain law and order within the country.

The question aroused in the minds of many about 

making the letter public written by 12 human rights 

organizations two months ago at a time when opposition 

took to the street and US imposed sanctions on RAB

As the law and order deteriorated due to reckless killing of citizens and destruction of properties, the job done by RAB is so efficient that the development efforts of the government went on smoothly. It is undeniable that the most important task to maintain law and order is done by the elite force RAB. It gets special training from US and UK. To ban rule on the UN peacekeeping force is to weaken the international peacekeeping force jeopardizing the security of many fragile state. Moreover, Bangladesh earns a big amount through their salary and a portion of the population get jobs. 

The US government has defined that the sanction is not permanent in Bangladesh but a warning. But the steps if taken by the peacekeeping force of UN would damage the prestige of Bangladesh in the United Nations. What could then be the feeling of those who were killed to contribute to the international peace peacekeeping force? 

We know that when there is a request from the UN peacekeeping authority for maintaining peace in Somalia or Nigeria or any part of the globe, Bangladesh responded positively and sent the most competent members from its security forces like RAB, Police and army there to save their lives. What exactly would be the feeling of the common people of the country who did lose their near and dear ones as peacekeeping force in the UN peacekeeping leaders. Bangladesh is an important member of the United Nations. It follows all the rules and regulations of the UN peacekeeping for maintaining a high standard of performance. It would be injustice if a decision is taken as asked by the 12 human rights organisations influenced by the ongoing campaign of the opposition. The hue and cry about the activities of RAB was raised by the opposition in the country although it (RAB) was formed in 2004 when BNP was in power. The operation clean heart was conducted by the BNP government to torture the then opposition Awami League leaders and stalwarts. 

A large number of Awami League leaders and workers became victim of the RAB brutality. But when Awami League came to power it used the RAB so nicely and competently that it became the most important elite force of the government doing splendid job both within and outside the country. Human rights organizations within Bangladesh and outside generally indulge in politics against the authority of the country. The human rights organisations have been to be working against the situation opposite to the interest of the people. Sometime they speak in the language of politics being influenced by the opposition. Since they have been influenced by the opposition group and Sheikh Hasina has been running the country efficiently ignoring the directions of some powerful countries and since powerful countries of the west seems to be taken side with the opposition, the aim of providing such kind of suggestions by the human rights organizations is just to undermine the government of Sheikh Hasina. This is unfortunate that the US which imposed sanction on RAB and few officers has been giving shelter to the convicted killers of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 

The 12 human rights organisations which have written letter to the UN Under-Secretary General two months ago have been keeping mum when USA itself have been violating human rights by giving shelter to the self-confessed killers. This double-standard is undesirable. The question also aroused in the minds of many about making the letter public written by 12 human rights organizations two months ago at a time when opposition took to the street and US imposed sanctions on RAB.

Dr S A Malek is a member of Awami League Advisory Council and President of Bangabandhu Parishad, former political adviser to the Prime Minister, member of parliament and columnist.