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UN seeks clarification on trial of human rights expert in Bangladesh

13 July 2007The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said today that it is seeking clarification from Bangladeshi authorities about the situation surrounding a UN independent expert who is facing trial in the Asian country on corruption charges. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said today that it is seeking clarification from Bangladeshi authorities about the situation surrounding a UN independent expert who is facing trial in the Asian country on corruption charges.The trial of Sigma Huda, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, is understood to have already started and there are reports that she is in ill-health, OHCHR spokesperson José-Luis Diaz told reporters in Geneva.But he said that while OHCHR has been in constant contact with Bangladeshi authorities, the Office has not yet received the information it requested seeking clarification of the case against Ms. Huda, a Bangladeshi national.A number of UN Special Rapporteurs – who work in an independent capacity and report to the UN Human Rights Council – are considering issued a public appeal, Mr. Diaz added.Ms. Huda was due to make a presentation to the Council last month but had been prevented from doing so by Bangladesh, and Mr. Diaz said the Office of the High Commissioner wanted to hear the reasons for this decision.Responding to journalists’ questions, Mr. Diaz said Ms. Huda was covered by the privileges and immunities enjoyed by UN experts on mission while she was exercising her duties, and presumably Bangladesh did not consider that immunity applied in this case. read more

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