Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-267"

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"Mr President, the problems in Bangladesh to which we have been drawing attention for some years now continue to remain unresolved. The world keeps hearing of more and more instances of human rights violations in that country. Since January 2007, Bangladesh has been in a state of emergency. The Anti-Terrorism Ordinance introduced on 11 June has placed additional restrictions on human rights, becoming another tool in the political battle. During the past 18 months 300 000 arrests have been made and the scope of application of the death penalty has been widened. Prisoners are subjected to torture and die in unexplained circumstances. The Bangladeshi authorities are not doing a lot to support the economy in the country, where food prices have risen by more than a third in recent months, and where a quarter of the territory is threatened by a constant risk of flooding and humanitarian disaster. An opportunity for change in the country is provided by free parliamentary elections preceded by a lifting of the state of emergency. It is essential for the caretaker government to guarantee freedom of the media in the pre-election period and the involvement of representatives of all the country’s ethnic and religious minorities in the elections. The EU should restore as soon as possible its election observation mission in Bangladesh, and prior to that the European Commission’s Office in Bangladesh must carefully monitor the political situation in the country and the status of observance of fundamental human rights."@en1

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