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European Parliament members want emergency to go PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 February 2008

UNB, Dhaka

A group of European Parliament members has called upon the army-controlled interim government to lift the state of emergency and announce an election date as soon as possible.

In a joint statement, they expressed concern over the recent political developments in Bangladesh as well as health condition of detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

‘As members of the European Parliament we are ready to support further cooperation with Bangladesh as a long lasting development partner, if the present government restores civic and political liberties and arranges free and fair democratic elections as soon as possible in the presence of international observers,’ they said.

Some 21 members of the European Parliament issued the statement on January 22 which was released by the Awami League office on Saturday.

The signatories to the statement include Michael Gahler of Germany, member of the sub-committee on human rights and vice-chairman of the committee on foreign affairs, Johan Van Parke of Belgium, Dr Charles Pannock, Baroness Sarah Lubford and Sajjad M Karim of the UK, Eija-Rika Konhola of Finland, Ignasi Guardans Cambo of Spain, Dan Mulder of the Netherlands and Toina Manders of the Netherlands, Irena Belochorske of Slovakia, Therry Cornillet of France and Luisa Morgantini and Maroo Cappato of Italy.

They said the Bangladesh caretaker government has declared to have taken several measures to fight corruption, restore law and order and reform institutions. However, they noted recent reports on ‘systematic oppression and implication of party leaders under the Emergency Rules have caused serious concern.’ ‘We have learnt that the human rights situation in Bangladesh is deteriorating day by day.

We believe that the government can make progress through negotiations and dialogue with all the political actors,’ they observed. ‘Furthermore, we are faced with alarming reports on the physical condition of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been in jail for several months, even though she is advised by specialists to get treatment aboard.

We, therefore, emphasise the need for additional measures to address shortcomings in the implementation of justice.’

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