GENEVA, June 7 U.N. High Commissioner for Human
Rights Louise Arbour has asked Bangladesh to clarify corruption
charges against a U.N. human rights investigator, which will
prevent her from addressing the main U.N. rights body next week.
Sigma Huda, U.N. special rapporteur on trafficking in
persons, was charged earlier this week as part of a wide
anti-graft drive with alleged involvement in corruption, but is
free on bail.
"We have been advised that Sigma Huda has been prevented
from leaving Bangladesh, where she has reportedly been charged
under provisions of anti-corruption legislation in that
country," U.N. rights spokesman Jose Luis Diaz told Reuters.
Arbour's office had requested clarification regarding the
legal proceedings and charges against Huda, "and how, in light
of the convention on privileges and immunities of the U.N. ...
such proceedings allow for keeping her from attending to her
duties as special rapporteur", he added.
Huda had been due to address the U.N. Human Rights Council
at the start of its week-long session in Geneva on Monday.
Bangladesh's anti-corruption commission on Monday also filed
graft charges at a quick trial court against her husband, Nazmul
Huda, a former communication minister arrested in March, who had
served in the government of prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia.
More than 170 senior leaders of the two largest parties have
been arrested since the interim administration launched the
anti-graft drive after it took over in January, imposed
emergency and called off elections set for later that month.