UN rights chief in Bangladesh to assess human rights, Rohingya condition

The UN human rights chief arrived in Bangladesh Sunday on a 4-day official visit to assess the state of human rights in the South Asian nation and monitor the plight of the persecuted Rohingya community.

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen received Michelle Bachelet at the Dhaka airport, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

This is the first-ever official tour of any UN rights chief to Bangladesh, a country of more than 165 million people.

During her tour, Bachelet will meet Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Cabinet and members of the civil society.

She will also interact with the National Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh and youth representatives.

Also on the agenda are meetings with Rohingya refugees in the border district of Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in the home country of Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017.

Bachelet’s visit on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the Rohingya exodus in Bangladesh is considered to be significant.

Nine international rights bodies have requested Bachelet to put pressure on the Bangladeshi government to improve the human rights situation in the country amid the rising incidence of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture in police custody, and harassment of government critics under controversial digital security law.

Dispelling the notion, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "Bangladesh strongly rejects some visible politically motivated efforts of some corners to mislead the people by showcasing the upcoming visit of the UN High Commissioner as an occasion to put undue pressure on the Government."

Source: Anadolu Agency