New Age, Dhaka
Saturday, September 15, 2012
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN CHT
French NGO reports to UN HRC
Danielle Mitterrand a non-governmental French organisation submitted a statement to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council about the human rights violations against the Jumma indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh.
The secretary-general of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council received the written statement on September 05.
In the statement they drew attention to the deteriorating human rights situation of the indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
They also urged for an implementation of the 1997 CHT accord before its 15th anniversary on December 02, 2012.
The statement said the human rights situation had worsened since the signing of the accord and a total of 3,970 incidents of human rights violations were perpetrated against Jumma people that includes arbitrary arrests and detentions, killings, tortures, sexual violence, arsons and land-grabbing.
Between 1999 to 2011 a total of 13 major communal attacks were carried out against indigenous peoples while 1,253 houses were burnt, 960 houses were ransacked and looted, 9 indigenous persons were killed, 2 indigenous persons went missing, 376 were seriously injured and 16 indigenous women were brutally raped.
The attacks were carried out by migrant settlers in the main evidently backed by a section of the security forces, they alleged.
Recently, the sexual violence against women including children in the CHT has increased. Between February to July, 2012, a total 11 Jumma women and a child were raped and a child was killed after being raped by migrant settlers. All except one case, the violators had gone unpunished.
The organisation provided a number of recommendations to the UN HRC which include the need to implement the 1997 CHT Accord by declaring a roadmap, to facilitate the settlement of land disputes by the Land Commission, demilitarising the region by a) withdrawing all temporary military camps, b) transferring authority and power to the civil administration, to provide constitutional safeguards by recognising the Jummas as indigenous peoples in the Constitution, to respect individual and collective rights, culture and tradition of the indigenous people.