NHRC demands legal action against Manna, Khoka

Rozina Islam | Mar 03, 2015



 The National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh (NHRC) advised the home ministry to take strict legal action against Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka over the instigative contents of their leaked phone conversation.

NHRC made this recommendation in a letter to the ministry of home affairs.

The letter said, Manna had termed the petrol bomb killings as “propaganda” and spoke of adopting any means to oust the government. The human rights commission letter stated that such an irresponsible conversation would add fuel to the ongoing unrest.

The letter also pointed out that the telephone conversation between Manna and Khoka stressed on keeping up the violence. They even considered killing Dhaka University students in order to accelerate their political movement.NHRC was disturbed by the blatant disregard for human lives by a politician.
The commission chairman lavishly praised the home minister for his efforts to uphold human rights in the country. Analysing the leaked conversation, certain quarters in the social media said Manna had sought a meeting with generals in an attempt to curtail the democratic process. NHRC commission expressed its concern over the matter.
Speaking to Prothom Alo over the phone, NHRC clarified its position in the letter. “Considering the current situation of the country, their conversation can only instigate more violence. As it concerns violation of human rights, we sent this letter advising legal action against them,” said NHRC chairman Mizanur Rahman.
Asked about NHRC’s passive stance on “crossfire” killings, NHRC chairman said, “We don’t send letters for everything featured in the media.”
However, NHRC has written letters about crossfire too, he claimed.
Sara Hossain, human rights activist and honorary executive director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), talked to Prothom Alo about the legitimacy of NHRC’s letter to the home ministry. “I don’t believe NHRC can issue such a letter to the home ministry.” she said.
Since the incident of the controversial conversation between Manna and Khoka is under investigation, NHRC’s letter might hinder the course of justice, she added.
“If they did send that letter, it should be considered as instigation. NHRC should apologise,” she said.