PUCL Bulletin, December 2002

Bangladesh Human Rights Commission & International Commission of Jurists roundtable

-- Summarised by Neelofar Haram

The Bangladesh Human Rights Commission is a non-governmental organisation. A roundtable between the BHRC and the ICJ was held on November 6. Speaker at the roundtable on said that about 93 per cent police officers of Bangladesh were thoroughly corrupt.

The round table was held in CARITAS auditorium. The meeting was chaired by Justice AKM Sadique, member Law Commission Government of Bangladesh and Chairman of BHRC. Mr. Ravinder Joshi Legal Advisor of commonwealth desk of ICJ was the main speaker. While Mr. Ferit Ergin Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, Rev. Monsignor First Secretary of Vatican Embassy of Dhaka, BHRC Secretary General Md. Saiful Islam Dildar, Chief Legal Advisor of BHRC Dr. Kazi Aktar Hamid, Member of National Executive Committee of BHRC Mosharraf Hussain Chowdhury, Director of Coordinating Council for Human Rights in Bangladesh Mr. Anowarul Azim, Chief Executive of Democracy Watch Ms. Taleya Rahman, Prominent Human Rights Activist Dr. AKM Saifullah also took part in the discussion.

The main article was read out in the meeting by Dr. ASM Badruddoza National Advisor of BHRC. Representatives from different Foreign Embassies, Head of the human rights organizations and leader from different branches of BHRC joined the round table.

The ICJ is going to start with legal aid to the victims, especially trauma victims, women and children and also to resist trafficking of women and children in South Asian countries from this year. In the round table meeting the speakers put emphasis on the present human rights position in Bangladesh including South Asia and World situation on the issue.

ICJ legal advisor Mr. Ravinder Joshi welcomed current anti crime drive with the assistance of Bangladesh armed forces by saying the move was not extra constitutional.

Mr. Joshi said calling of defence forces to aid civil administration under certain constitution was rather a rightful step which many countries around the globe have been following.

Responding different questions on deployment of armed forces to combat crime, which was essentially a police task, Joshi who is also an Indian national, said maintaining law and order situation is the foremost duty of any government. "Certainly government deserved the right to call army in such cases" he added.
But Human Rights organisations and activists should be watchful whether any such drive led to any kind of abuses, Joshi said.

Dr. Badruddoza alleged that the police of our country did not want to move without bribe in most cases while a person seeks help. "The women fail to get any help from the police without giving bribe when they go to the thana for a shelter from any types of repression, he added.

He also said about 6000 women of Bangladesh were being trafficked abroad every year, but the law enforcement authority could not tackle the situation fully.
Ravinder Joshi expressed hope to work with the BHRC on behalf of the trafficked women and children of Bangladesh.

He also said ICJ is a International human rights organization which worked for the people of the grass root level of the world.

Saiful Islam Dildar said Tribunal for the speedy trial, was introduced by the present government would improve the repression on the women and the children along with other crimes.

Describing about some of the judiciary system of Bangladesh, Justice AKM Sadeque said that the Government was trying to save the people from any types of harassment usually to the women and children.

It may be mention that BHRC is working in Bangladesh and others part of the subcontinent on Human Rights as member of ICJ of the last 5 years. -- Advocate Nasreen Ahmed, Director, BHRC

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