Calling the Awami League "immoral," BNP has accused the ruling party of using the state apparatus to be in power.
"It has been proved that this unelected, immoral Awami League government wants to use the state apparatus to wrongfully stay in power," the party said in a press release issued following a virtual meeting of its standing committee on Saturday.
Members of the party's highest policymaking body – Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Jamir Uddin Sarkar, Mirza Abbas, Chandra Roy of Babu Gayesh, Dr Abdul Moin Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Begum Selima Rahman and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku – participated in the meeting chaired by BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman.
Findings of the recently released US report – "2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bangladesh" – that made bold claims about the human rights situation in Bangladesh, the role of law enforcement agencies, and government interference in the judiciary, were discussed during today's (16 April) meeting.
The party observed that the alleged human rights violations, enforced disappearances, murders and torture of opposition leaders and activists by law enforcement agencies, backed up by the government, have gained international recognition through this human rights report.
It said that the recent US sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and some of its officials have further established these claims.
Also, the BNP standing committee called upon the judiciary to work neutrally and independently instead of helping the government to gain its narrow political interests.
The committee voiced deep concern as the Appellate Division dismissed a leave to appeal petition filed by Dr Zubaida Rahman, wife of BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP chairperson's Gulshan office, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their standing committee members observed, "Unfortunately, there is a perception in the public mind that the judiciary is unfairly cooperating with the illegitimate, usurper and unelected government to serve the narrow purposes of the ruling party instead of protecting the independence enshrined by the constitution."
The BNP leader said their meeting strongly condemned and protested such despicable efforts. "We call upon the judiciary to carry out its judicial functions independently with an impartial attitude upholding the main character of the constitution."
Earlier on Wednesday last, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld a High Court verdict that cleared the way for the lower court to resume trial proceedings of a corruption case filed against Dr Zubaida.
Fakhrul said Dr Zubaida is a non-political physician and the Anti-Corruption Commission has implicated her in the case with a political motive. "The case has been filed without any basis only to harass and humiliate the Zia family."
He said the order that was given by the Appellate Division appears to be a dictated one.
The BNP leader alleged that the government has been making efforts to eliminate political institutions using the 'false' cases by establishing its 'control' and 'influence' over the judiciary.
"In the same way, they [govt] are trying to keep our leader Begum Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman away from politics by unlawfully convicting them in false cases out of political vengeance," he observed.
The BNP leader also alleged that the government is trying to use the judiciary to destroy the democratic character of the constitution and thus establish a one-party authoritarian dictatorship.