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GCSB dragging NZ into human rights abuses in Bangladesh

GCSB dragging New Zealand into human rights abuses in Bangladesh

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today.

The latest Snowden documents show the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has been the lead agency analysing data gathered by the American National Security Agency (NSA) in Bangladesh. The GCSB wrote reports for the NSA, which then passed the reports on to the Bangladeshi security agencies.

“Human rights abuses by government security agencies are so widespread and systematic in Bangladesh, how can the GCSB say for certain the information given to Bangladeshi security agencies wasn’t used for human rights abuses,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Human Rights Watch has described one of the Bangladeshi security agencies as a ‘roaming death squad’.

“Bangladeshi security agencies are known to target, torture and kill a range innocent people including ethnic and religious minorities, political opponents, reporters and labour movement activists.

“All three key anti-terrorism government agencies in Bangladesh have been implicated in horrendous human rights abuses, so it is impossible to guarantee that the information passed on did not lead to innocent people being killed or tortured.

“John Key has always justified the GCSB on the basis that it is there to protect the good guys, but these documents reveal that it is helping the bad guys.

“Most New Zealanders would find this deplorable and agree that this is not within the mandate of the GCSB,” said Dr Norman.

ends

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