Australian Senator Janet Rice has urged the Australian government to do everything that it can to address human rights violations in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world.
The Australia Greens Senator from Victoria made the call while speaking on foreign affairs at the Australian Parliament on February 8.
Janet Rice, who has been a passionate environmentalist and rights activist for more than 30 years and advocated for passage of the Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Magnitsky-style and Other Thematic Sanctions) Act 2021.
It is intended to modernise Australia's autonomous sanctions regime by creating a framework to facilitate the establishment of a thematic sanctions regime to enable Australia to respond flexibly and swiftly to a range of situations of international concern.
Janet Rice mentioned the act under which targeted sanctions were imposed against Myanmar, while she also mentioned human rights violations in other countries including Iran.
Talking about Bangladesh, she said, "Sadly, we see the continuation of violation of human rights by the government."
She thanked members of the Bangladesh diaspora community in Australia, many of whom live in New South Wales, and continue their advocacy.
"I had a meeting with the members of that community and was inspired by the courage and persistency in the face of sufferings and attempts to silence them," she said.
Noting the Human Rights Watch report, Janet Rice said Bangladesh security forces have been implicated in serious abuses including torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
The government has arrested journalists and critics under the Digital Security Act and otherwise stifled civil society, she said.
"We urge Australian government to do everything that it can do to address these atrocities and to work and to be protecting and promoting human rights wherever possible," the senator added.