The government is analysing “every point” of the United States’ human rights report on Bangladesh, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Seheli Sabrin told reporters in the weekly briefing on Thursday.
“We are analysing every point. After our analysis, we will have an inter-ministerial meeting. We are working on it,” she said while replying to a question.
The U.S. Department of State released the 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, an annual report required by U.S. law, on Monday.
The report stated that politicisation of crimes, corruption, and lack of independent accountability mechanisms were significant factors contributing to impunity, including for custodial torture in Bangladesh.
State Minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said that there were “fundamental shortcomings” in that report.
“They publish this report every year. As a country report is being prepared on a friendly country, and we tell them in every bilateral meeting that before publishing the report give us a chance to defend. We get promises (in the meeting). But this year also they didn’t discuss it with us,” he had said, terming it a “major shortcoming”.
He had said the report also mentioned information collected from the NGO Odhikar which has no license to operate in Bangladesh.
“They could not renew their license. They failed to get it even in the court,” he had said, adding that using their information questioned the credibility of the report.
The state minister had also said that they would review the whole report and raise those issues in the upcoming bilateral meetings including the high-level visits.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to visit Washington in the last week of April.
President Joe Biden has put human rights at the center of United States foreign policy.
Guided by the United Nations’ human rights treaties, the country reports document the status of respect for human rights and worker rights in 198 countries and territories.
The United States has issued these reports for nearly five decades. The country reports do not draw legal conclusions, rank countries, or draw comparisons.
“Promoting respect for individual rights helps create a more secure, stable, and prosperous world. Defending fundamental freedoms is at the core of who we are as a country. The United States regularly raises human rights issues with the Government of Bangladesh in the spirit of respect and partnership. We will continue to do so," US Ambassador in Dhaka Peter Haas said on the report.