Visit of UN human rights chief to Bangladesh

Visit of the UN Chief of Human Rights in Bangladesh


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday for a four-day visit to the Rohingya refugee camps.  

Nearly one million Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Burma, live in miserable conditions in these camps, after fleeing military persecution in their Buddhist-majority country in 2017 .

Last month, the UN's highest legal body ruled in a landmark case that Burma was guilty of genocide against this minority. 

Rohingya refugees refuse to return to their country without guarantees from the military junta to ensure their safety. And Bangladesh's impatience with the situation is mounting. 

Bangladesh has been criticized for its own human rights record under the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whom Ms. Bachelet is due to meet during her visit.

Ms. Bachelet arrived in Dhaka on Sunday, according to the Foreign Ministry, and is due to visit the Rohingya camps on Monday.

Nine groups, including Human Rights Watch, said she should “publicly call for an immediate end to grave abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances” in Bangladesh. 

Under Ms Hasina, security forces have killed thousands in shootouts, while hundreds more, mostly from the opposition, have disappeared, according to activists.

The government denies these allegations and, ahead of Ms. Bachelet's visit, he said he would highlight his “sincere efforts to protect and promote the human rights of the people”.

“Bangladesh very much hopes that the head of human rights of the United Nations will be able to see for herself that the country is doing miracles to maintain the course of its development, by integrating human rights into it”, hammered Dhaka. 

Ms. Bachelet, 70, former president of Chile, must leave office at the end of a month.