Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bangladesh refuses to allow rights expert to leave country

Sigma Huda, an independent expert on human trafficking, has been barred from leaving Bangladesh, The Associated Press reported yesterday. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, following reliable information, has learned that Huda has been charged under anti-corruption legislation.

As an independent expert for the United Nations since 2004, Huda has certain diplomatic privileges that prevent arrest or detention. Such privileges remain intact unless explicitly lifted by the U.N., something that U.N. officials say has not occurred.

According to UN Watch, an independent nongovernmental watchdog, Huda was refused exit as a “security risk for Bangladesh as she may give statements detrimental” to the government. Nazmul Huda, Sigma’s husband and former communications director during the previous regime, was also arrested on anti-corruption charges by the military-backed interim government. Bangladeshi officials have refused to comment.

Huda was set to attend the fifth session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva between June 11 and 18.

For the full article, click here.



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