Bangladesh Cancels License of Human Rights Group

The Non-Government Organization Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh, a wing of the Prime Minister’s Office that regulates charities, canceled the license of the human rights group, Odhikar on Sunday. 

According to a document shared by Odhikar, the Bureau has rejected its application to renew the registration because Odhikar’s activities “are not satisfactory,” and has tarnished the government’s image. 

The Bureau added in the document that Odhikar had published “misleading information about various extrajudicial killings, including alleged disappearances and murders,” creating “various issues against Bangladesh… which has seriously tarnished the image of the state.” 

Odhikar’s secretary Adilur Rahman Khan said they would “take legal recourse in this matter.” 

“Odhikar has been facing persecution for years, and the arbitrary cancellation of its registration is the latest attempt to silence Odhikar,” Khan said. 

According to media reports, Odhikar has worked closely with United Nations bodies and has recorded thousands of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. 

“The documentation of human rights violations is not a crime,” Khan said. 

Odhikar has been documenting human rights violations in Bangladesh since 1994. 

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