Seven distinguished human rights teams have referred to as on the United Nations to evaluation its use of Bangladeshi peacekeeping troops after the world physique denied claims by the nation’s army that secretly purchased mass surveillance tools, uncovered by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, was used for peacekeeping missions.
The Al Jazeera investigation, All of the Prime Minister’s Males, revealed how the Bangladesh armed forces, led by Basic Aziz Ahmed, purchased intrusive mass surveillance expertise, the so-called IMSI-catchers, from an Israeli firm.
Bangladesh, which gives the most important variety of UN army personnel, claimed the tools was purchased for peacekeeping missions, one thing the UN has vehemently denied.
The expertise purchased by Bangladesh can be utilized to trace a whole bunch of cellphones concurrently, as an illustration throughout protests.
“Along with a protracted sample of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and torture by Bangladesh safety forces below Gen. Aziz’s management, new info suggests the Bangladesh army is making a brazen try at ‘blue-washing’ the federal government’s abusive surveillance ways at residence,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) UN director Louis Charbonneau stated in an announcement.
“The UN ought to conduct its personal inquiry into the allegations and take a contemporary take a look at the human rights document of all Bangladesh items and people concerned in peacekeeping missions.”
The assertion was co-signed by HRW, Worldwide Federation for Human Rights, Asian Human Rights Fee, World Organisation in opposition to Torture, Asian Discussion board for Human Rights and Improvement, Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, and Eleos Justice.
It additionally calls on the UN to make it clear that it’s unwilling for use as a coverup for human rights abuses in Bangladesh, and that rising Bangladeshi troops’ deployments ought to be placed on maintain pending the outcomes of a complete evaluation of the worldwide physique’s ties with the Bangladesh army.
Basic Ahmed is presently in the US, the place he’ll meet UN officers subsequent week.
The rights teams referred to as on the UN to make use of that assembly to debate Al Jazeera’s findings.
All of the Prime Minister’s Males
Ahmed was one of many principal individuals featured in All of the Prime Minister’s Males, which revealed how the final has been defending his two fugitive brothers, Haris and Anis Ahmed, who absconded after they have been discovered responsible of a 1996 homicide.
Haris Ahmed, utilizing a faux id partially created with the assistance of the Bangladesh military, has been in a position to arrange a number of companies in Hungary, together with fulfilling contracts for Bangladesh.
He additionally boasted about receiving bribes from officers to assist them get hold of high-ranking positions within the police drive.
“Police work as our thugs. Who wants common thugs,” Haris advised an Al Jazeera undercover operative.
The Ahmed brothers, 5 in complete, have lengthy been intently linked to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The movie additionally confirmed Haris Ahmed boasting about having one among his rivals arrested utilizing the Speedy Motion Battalion (RAB), a paramilitary unit formally used for anti-terrorism operations.
Within the recording, Haris Ahmed stated: “My gangsters are RAB. I don’t want thugs, these [RAB] are my thugs.
“Decide somebody up, detain somebody. They generate profits, I generate profits. An easy deal,” he continued.
Of their assertion, the human rights organisations renewed requires an investigation into the actions of RAB, a unit HRW has described as a “loss of life squad”.
“Abuses by RAB, together with extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances, are nicely documented,” the assertion stated.
“The UN Committee In opposition to Torture and the UN Human Rights Committee have repeatedly referred to as for investigations into RAB and for it to be made right into a purely civilian drive.”
Earlier than the discharge of the investigation, Al Jazeera reached out to all events concerned, together with Hasina, the Ahmed brothers and several other others. None responded.
After the discharge of the investigation, Bangladesh’s Ministry of International Affairs issued an announcement describing Al Jazeera’s findings as a “smear marketing campaign” that was orchestrated by opponents of the regime primarily based overseas.
It dismissed statements made by the brother of Bangladesh’s chief of military workers as baseless and stated Haris Ahmed had no hyperlinks to Hasina or every other state establishment.