National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh (NHRCB) organized a Round Table Discussion with the editors of print and electronic media at the National Press Club, Dhaka on 29 September 2016. The subject of the discussion was Terrorism and Militancy: A Way Forward. The discussion was designed to seek opinion from the editors and journalists as to how terrorism and militancy could be addressed in NHRCB way. At the outset of the discussion, Mr. Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, Member, NHRCB introduced the members of the Commission to the audience.
Mr. Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman, NHRCB welcomed the editors in his opening remarks. He said to the editors, “We have crafted a strategic plan to work for human rights development. We will even go for revising it after we get your suggestions and inputs.” He emphasized on the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009. He also said, “NHRCB is accountable to the people of Bangladesh and transparent to the media. That is why we have incorporated members from the civil society including media in our nine thematic committees.” “Government is countering terrorism and militancy through law enforcement agencies and NHRCB is trying to find out ways as to how the corrupt mindset of militants who are brainwashed in the name of Islam can be streamlined to normal course of life,” he added.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Media Adviser to the Prime Minister welcomed the new Commission Members. He said that Commission should work independently and without fear. Independence of the Commission should be utilized in full force for the protection of the rights of the people. He added that terrorists and militants were always causing human rights violation in home and abroad. He assured that media would always come forward to support the Commission in addressing the issue.
Mozammel Haque Babu, Chief Editor, 'Ekattor TV said that NHRCB should take the challenges for working against occasional mal administration or torture of government agencies. He sought a bold step from NHRCB in this regard. Eminent columnist Syed Abul Maksud in his speech urged that he liked to see NHRCB as truly poor-friendly. He also added that the success of the Commission would depend upon how strongly it could respond to the human rights violation cases committed by the powerful persons and rulers. Renowned Columnist Rahat Khan in his speech said that the main task of the Commission was none but awareness building on human rights. He also added that Commission should have taken into consideration why terrorism and militancy would take place.
Abdul Kaiyum, Associate Editor, Prothom Alo thanked NHRCB for organizing such a timely discussion with media. He expressed his optimism that NHRCB would be able to extend its humanitarian campaigns and activities towards greater canvass in future. Kamrul Islam Chowdhury, General Secretary, National Press Club said that people had grown hopeful on the activities of NHRCB, as far as its involvement with the poor and marginalized people was concerned. Moreover, Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman, Senior journalist and President of the National Press Club expressed his dissatisfaction over the human rights violation in the name of Islam. .
Finally, Kazi Reazul Hoque, Chairman, NHRCB thanked all the editors and journalists for joining the discusson. He mentioned that the commitment of media to assist the commission would help him a lot to take courageous steps in future. Md.Nazrul Islam, Full Time Member, NHRCB commented that media worked as a catalyst for NHRCB when it dealt with suo moto cases of human rights violation. It was the media that featured the sensational news and acted as a provider of facts and information for NHRCB in a way that NHRCB could not refrain from starting a suo moto case. He added that NHRCB always cooperated with media as and when situation demanded. So, the relationship and partnership is abiding and mutual. He also expressed his thankfulness and gratitude to all concerned and sought cooperation of media for the protection of human rights. Professor Akhtar Hossain, Member, NHRCB expressed his happiness that the new Commission was formed in a way that it had become very vibrant and was working together for the promotion and protection of human rights. Ms. Nurun Naher Osmani, and Meghna Guhathakurta, Members of the Commission were also present at the discussion.