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Human Rights Council 39: UK Statement on Bangladesh

The UK welcomed Bangladesh's support for two of its recommendations on religious intolerance and freedom of expression, however the UK echoed concerns regarding democratic freedoms.

Chair UN Geneva

Thank you, Mr President,

The United Kingdom thanks Bangladesh for its continued engagement with the UPR and its support for two of our recommendations: to combat religious intolerance, and to work with civil society in Bangladesh to protect freedom of expression. We also welcome Bangladesh’s continued support to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

As a country that has answered the Prime Minister’s Call to Action on Modern Slavery, we hope that Bangladesh will accept our third recommendation to increase labour inspections and take action against individuals and organisations that subject migrant workers to forced labour and human trafficking.

Restrictions on democratic freedoms remain of deep concern to the UK, and we want to see a free, fair and inclusive elections process.

We also remain concerned by actions against freedom of expression in Bangladesh, and remind the Government of its commitment to work with civil society in Bangladesh to protect freedom of expression, specifically with regard to international concerns on Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act. We also remind the Government of its commitment to develop a roadmap to implement Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combating religious intolerance.

We urge the Government to clearly set out how it is addressing the human rights concerns we have detailed, including how it plans to engage in a dialogue with civil society in Bangladesh.

Thank you.

Published 20 September 2018