The Bangladeshi authorities should immediately order an independent investigation into the enforced disappearance of BNP joint secretary general Salahuddin Ahmed, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Bangladesh government has a history of failing to investigate the enforced disappearance of opposition members,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Salahuddin’s forcible disappearance needs a credible and independent investigation.”
Human Rights Watch said it had documented enforced disappearances in Bangladesh, largely by members of the security forces, along with other rights groups since at least 2007. In 2012, BNP leader Elias Ali went missing, and the authorities have failed to determine his fate.
The current wave of violence in Bangladesh is a continuation of a longstanding disagreement between the government and the opposition surrounding the conduct of national elections held in January 2014, Human Rights Watch noted.
“Many enforced disappearances have been well documented as carried out by the authorities, yet there is little and in many cases no evidence that the government has investigated these cases,” said Adams.
“No members of the security forces have been held to account for their role despite public pledges by the government.
“Salahuddin’s disappearance is part of a larger pattern. Unfortunately, the denial of any involvement by the Bangladesh government, and its refusal to take meaningful action to investigate, is also part of the same pattern of behavior,” he added.