[JURIST] The European Union is monitoring possible human rights violations in Bangladesh [JURIST news archive], the Bangladeshi New Age reported Wednesday. The paper quoted Netherlands EU ambassador Bea Ten Tusscher as saying that the EU is concerned about several particular human rights cases, despite claims by the the interim military government that the rights situation has improved. If the EU finds that Bangladesh has violated EU human rights guidelines [official texts, PDF], it can suspend cooperation with or impose sanctions on the country. Tusscher's comments came during a round-table discussion on human rights that included local Bangladeshi activists, reporters and others.
Bangladesh's human rights record has been the focus of broad criticism in recent months. In August, Reporters Without Borders [advocacy website] criticized Bangladeshi censorship and violence against journalists, calling on the government to guarantee journalists' safety [press release] during a government-imposed curfew [JURIST report]. Last week, the US State Department [official website] expressed concerns about due process for people detained under Bangladesh's emergency rules [JURIST report], which were imposed in January. AFP has more.