Monday, July 30, 2007

STATEMENT:Human Rights Abuses against the Former Prime Minister of Bangladesh and President of Bangladesh Awami League Sheikh Hasina

Adv. Shahanur Islam saikot Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights Sheikh Hasina, the former Prime Minister and President of Bangladesh Awami League was arrested on 16 July 2007 on a false and concocted charge of extortion of money in year of 2000. She is imprisoned in a sub jail and remaining out of contact from outside world. In such situation the anticorruption commission has asked to submit her property statement. As a president of the biggest political parties she was to open several Bank Accounts in various Banks. While she was taken in to custody the joint forces raided her residence and took away records of those Bank Accounts. With out consulting records it is not possible for Sheikh Hasina to submit the correct statement of the money in her account in the Banks. So she requested the Governor of Bangladesh bank to arrange to the bank statement from the concerned Bank. But the Governor straightway has refused to submit any bank statement to Sheikh Hasina, although , the same governor of Bangladesh bank has already submitted the same Bank statement to the Task Force of Anti Corruption Commission. The gov’t demands property statement from Sheikh Hasina, keeping her in jail custody and seizing all documents but refused to supply the relevant document as well as bank statement to prepare correct property statement by sheikh Hasina. The double standard attitude of the government has created strong suspicions that government is preparing the ground so that Sheikh Hasina would not be able to submit her property statement within the limit and face trial for non submission of the property statement. The trial in special court will end to punishment of Sheikh Hasina. In this way the present Army backed caretaker will be able to fulfill their desire to stop Sheikh Hasina from contesting the next General Election.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

STATEMENT:The Continuing Policy of Reforming Political Party by the Present Caretaker Government is Nothing but Eyewash

Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights The present caretaker government’s administration is applying double standard using the same law for opposite purposes. The people of Bangladesh asked to the present gov’t ‘How can a political party be launched when all political activities are banned under a state of emergency?” We want to say that the same law could not be used for different purposes—favoring some while suppressing others. Now we are doubt if general elections would be held within the timeline announced by the Election Commission. In previous President of Bangladesh Awami League Sheikh Hasina expressed her doubt whether the polls would be held in time. Now we have every reason to fear whether the elections will be held in due time as there has been little progress in preparation of the voters roll. The present government had assumed power to hold a free, fair and credible election within a specific timeframe, but the Election Commission could not begin the voter registration process even after the passage of seven months which cast serious doubt on whether the polls would be held in due time. The ongoing hustle and bustle, including belittling of politicians, of different quarters in and outside the government for ‘democratization’ of political parties would have a draining effect on politics as reforms are being imposed on parties from outside. The people of Bangladesh also believe that some activities, including the plan of backstage powerful quarters to bring about reforms in the two major political parties, Awami League and BNP, keeping their chiefs Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia out of frame, demeaning politicians in general, making thousands of people jobless and homeless by evicting markets and slums, and axing industrial workers, will backfire. They [government] are talking about democratization of political parties. But, it would bounce back like a boomerang as they are trying to impose reform from outside. Moreover it has taken several conflicting steps that will backfire. The masses had many expectations from the government; but their hopes have been frustrated as it has started implementing a number of schemes which are apparently out of its capacity. There is a lack of democratic spirit and values in the actions of the incumbent government. The people have been kept as bystanders while the debate over the much-hyped up reforms has been going on. It would be difficult to bring about any proper reforms, institutionalize democracy and ensure progress of the country by belittling politics.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

STATEMENT:Immediate Withdrawal of Restriction on Political Activities is the Demand of the Moment to Control the Increasing Trend of Fundamentalist

Adv. Shahanur Islam Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights A fundamentalist terrorist leader Mufti Mansurul Huq has been distributing a booklet Captioned “Afghan Zihad” with the call to organize Islamic militants to capture state power like Taliban of Afghanistan (See: Daily “Amader Shomoy” dated 10th July, 2007). Due to the imposition of restriction of secular political activities by the present Caretaker Govt., a political vacuum has been created. This has opened the doors to underground terrorist activities of Taliban-trained Islamic militants in Bangladesh. If the restriction of normal political activities is prolonged and election is delayed the militants will spread their domination among Madrasha students and masses of orthodox rural people. The Taleban of Afghanistan adopted the same tactics to dominate the Madrasha student and rural orthodox mass people. They organized and trained them with arms to fight against the gov’t to overthrow state power. At the initial stage of their action they occupied the gov’t establishment in small-town areas and eventually they succeeded in capturing the capital. The underground Islamic militants in Bangladesh are following the same road map to overthrow state power. It is horrible to imagine what reign of terror the people of Bangladesh may be facing under Islamic Militant Rule in the future if it is not controlled right at this moment. The present Caretaker gov’t under Dr. Fakruddin Ahmed came to power on 11 January 2007 under Bangladesh constitution Article 58(C), with mandatory binding to hold election and hand over the power to the people representatives within 90 days. Already 6 months – that is, more than 180 days – have passed, but no visible preparation for election is seen in the performance of the care taker gov’t. They are prolonging their power with the plea of preparation of photo voter list and completion of action against corruption. From the pilot project of preparing a voter list at one of the municipal area’s Sreepur about 20 miles from the capital city, Dhaka it is found that only about 42,000 voters have been listed. The performance of this pilot project was directly guided by the close supervision of chief election commissioner, 2 election commissioner, army chief, many other advisors and high gov’t officials. But the enlistment of these 42, 000 voters with photographs and fingerprints was not correctly done; there are questions about the accuracy of the list. With the experience of the questionable performance of this pilot project there is strong doubt about the correct preparation of a voter list for the estimated 90 million voters, especially in the remote rural areas of Bangladesh where there is no proper communication, and little electricity and infrastructure for using the computers, laptops, printers etc necessary for capturing photographs and fingerprints. For such enlistment of huge nos. of voters a huge number of expert computer operators, digital camera operators and operators of other accessories need to be recruited and trained. From the present literate population of Bangladesh arrangement of such huge nos. of experts is simply an impossible task. The preparation of a voter list with photographs and fingerprints for all estimated 90 million voters all over the country is an impossible ambition on the part of the present caretaker gov’t and Election Commission. The people of Bangladesh are afraid of whether the election is going to be trapped under this impossible idea. There is fear that with the plea of election preparation the caretaker gov’t will continue their power with the backing of the army, under the umbrella of emergency rule. Such a situation can be averted if an up to date voter list is simply prepared as per the verdict of Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Action against corruption is part of a continued process of upholding the rule of law. So, imposing restriction on political activities and the Constitution under the state of emergency until completion of the judgment of anticorruption cases cannot be accepted as a valid reason for the caretaker government’s continuation of a state of emergency and restriction of political activities. As per the constitution of Bangladesh the duration of emergency is valid only up to 120 days from the date of its promulgation on 11 January 2007. Democratic activities must be restored without losing further time, to hold general elections within the quickest possible timeframe to save Bangladesh from the horror of fundamentalist terrorism and uphold the democratic human rights of every citizen

Thursday, July 12, 2007

STATEMENT:Interfering the Judiciary and Political Activities by the Army Backed Present Caretaker Government is against Prime Constitutional

By- Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights The object of the caretaker government as per Bangladesh constitution Article 58(C) is perform routine play to day works to assist the election commission to hold the parliamentary election and hand over power to the elected representatives within 90 days as it was strictly mentioned in 1996 and 2001 by the then caretaker government. But this time the present caretaker gov’t keeping away their constitutional binding of holding election has taken up many unusual agenda in name of irradiation of corruption over night. Mr. Mainul Hossain, advisor of Law Justice, parliamentary and information affairs said in a news conference on 09 July 2007 that no bail by the court will be allowed to the persons charged with corruption. Allowing or not allowing bail to any person is sole lawful authority of concerned court. The decision taken by the advisor of Law Justice, parliamentary and information affairs is definitely an unlawful step against independent of judiciary which creates an unholy impact upon justice entailing serve violation of human rights regards obtaining bail from the court. The same advisor has said that to boycott Sheikh Hasina, President of Bangladesh Awami league and Begum Khaleda Zia, Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party both are former prime minister of Bangladesh for failure of their leadership. The caretaker government is a neutral body as per Bangladesh Constitution. The advisor of caretaker by their comment about the cheif of two popular main parties has shown his participation is the attempt of reform the those two political parties internal organizational structure which is not expected to uphold the democracy in contravention of protection of human rights. General Moeen. U Ahmed Chief of Bangladesh Army is a gov’t servant of the people republic of Bangladesh. So long the remains in government service he is to follow service conduct rule which has restricted a gov’t servant from involving in any political subject in any public forum. But since 11 January 2007 the day of army backed caretaker government. The chief of the army has bee3n delivering speeches on political subject in several public forums all over the country. On 10.07.07 in a seminar organized by the Bangladesh Institute of speech and security studies general Moeen has proposed to amend the constitution Bangladesh (Please see “The Daily Star on 10 July 2007”) which is a highly sensitive political matter. He has also criticized the national and international opinion about withdrawn of political restriction as well as state of emergency and holding early election. The comments of Gen. Moeen on political subject remind the nation the role of Lft. Gen. H. M. Ershad the army chief in 1982 before forcibly taking power from the then elected President Justice Satter on 24 March 1982 and prolongation of Martial Law. The people of Bangladesh are strongly suspicious as to whether the same road map of 1982 is being followed to destabilize the democratic political institution and introduce army controlled demo cry of Gen. Pervez Mosharaf in Pakistan. At such situation the Islamic militant will take chance of political vacuum to organize the half literate Madrasha student s and orthodox Muslim towards Taleban style gov’t in Bangladesh. The sign and symptom is already visible in Pakistan from local mosque incidents within its Capital city in Islamabad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

STATEMENT: Violation of Human Rights by Massive Detention Under special Power Act and Influence to Judiciary

By- Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights The present caretaker gov’t under Dr. Fakruddin Ahmed, the chief adviser of the caretaker government took over power on 11.01.2007 under the article of 58(C) of Bangladesh Constitution with the constitutional binding to hold parliamentary election and hand over power to the people representative within 90 days. But the gov’t is prolonging their power backed by Armed forces under Emergency Rule. This constitutional binding of holding free fair election is the prime object of the present caretaker gov’t. Previous two caretaker gov’t in 1996 and 2001 did the same. But the present caretaker gov’t in violation of constitution binding started massive arrest of political leaders, workers, businessmen and many others in the name of reform with a view to create panic so that the people of the Bangladesh can not rise their voice against unconstitutional prolonging of the power of the government. Since taking over power so far more than 2, 00,000 peoples have been suffering from prolong detention in the jail under special power act with out having opportunity of bail but the Higher Court. Such a massive detention without specific allegation and charge is a serious violation of human rights by the present care taker Government. Justice is the first priority to ensure human rights. The present Caretaker gov’t has set up special court for speedy trial of anti corruption cases against the important political persons of two major political parties BNP and Awami League, who were elected in previous election to run the gov’t alternatively for 10 years and 5 years respectively. The cases against them were investigated within limited time frame which has been decided by the gov’t by an ordinance. The hasty investigation and judgment within pre-decided short period has put the nation in to doubt about fair justice in those cases. This doubt has been enhanced for an unusual visit of Anti corruption Chairman Lt. Genl. (retd) Hasan Mashud Chowdhury to the chief justice and Attorney General on 08 July 07 in their office chamber. Reportedly he discussed about those anti Corruption cases which will be appealed to the High Court. Thus the Anti Corruption is trying to influence the chief justice so that the verdicts of the higher court do not go against Gov’t desire.Such Attitude of the gov’t clearly shows that they are more interested for punishment than proper judgment. This attitude of present gov’t will create scope of massive human rights violation in Bangladesh.

Monday, July 9, 2007

STATEMENT: Priority of general election to uphold human rights


By-
Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot
Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights

Under Dr. Fakruddin Ahmed, the chief adviser of the caretaker government took over power on 11.01.2007 under the article of 58(C) of Bangladesh Constitution with the constitutional binding to hold parliamentary election and hand over power to the people representative within 90 days. But the gov’t is prolonging their power backed by Armed forces under Emergency Rule. The government has restricted the movement of political leaders and workers to Sheikh Hasina, President of Bangladesh Awami league and Begum Khaleda Zia, Chairperson of Bangladesh nationalist Party (BNP) both are former Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The false cases have been instituted against Sheikh Hasina. In the name of reform of those two most popular political parties an attempt is on process under the shelter of the present government oust those two most popular leaders; both are ex prime minister of Bangladesh from future of politics of Bangladesh like Bengir Bhutta and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan. Such attempt to depoliticalization of most popular political leaders will result in disintegration of those two major political parties which will create a serious political vacuum. Under such situation the fundamentalist terrorist will get opportunity to dominate the politics of Bangladesh and in the near future they will have the strength to take over power like Taleban of Afganistan. Such comment has been expressed in recent issue of Wall Street Journal. Here mentioned that some fundamentalist parties as jamatul Mujahedin, Jadid al Quaeda, Hijbut taohid, Tarika Federation are still continuing their activities across the country.
To ensure human rights democracy is the only way. So the world democratic community can not remain silent to allow Bangladesh to put Bangladesh in the hand of terrorist. So, holding of General Election is the priority to the present government instead of putting attention to so called political reform. But the gov’t did not disclose any roadmap to hold general election till now. Here specially mentioned that according to Bangladesh constitution Emergency of State can not exit 120 days. But Present Government already has exited this time limitation through violating Constitution.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

STATEMENT: RESTRICTION ON THE MOVEMENT AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES HAS BEEN IMPOSED UPON SHEIKH HASINA

By- Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot 
Programme Manager-Legal &amp Human Rights

RESTRICTION ON THE MOVEMENT AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES HAS BEEN IMPOSED UPON SHEIKH HASINA, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF BANGLADESH AND PRESIDENT OF BANGLADESH AWAMI LEAGUE BY ARMY BACKED CARE TAKER GOV’T. 

The present caretaker government backed by Army took power on 11 january 2007 as per Article 58(C0 of the Bangladesh constitution with the commitment to hold parliamentary election and hand over power within 90 days to the people representative as it is the constitutional binding as per above article. So the legal tenure was limited up to 30 th June of 2007. Sheikh Hasina put her demand to hold the election timely offer preparation of up to date voter list as per the high court verdict. The government with design to prolong its power did not pay any head to the legal demand of Sheikh Hasia and started to the following measures to shut her voice. 1. Imposition of restriction on indoor politics 2. Ripen the false case instituted against her by the last BNP- Jamat joint Government, which have been stayed by the high court as those were found false by the court. 3. Implicated her name in a murder case which was committed on 26 December 2006 in course of two rival political parties face to face procession. 4. Instituted three false extortion cases. 5. Arrest of her senior leader of her party Awami League with out any specific Allegation or Charge. 6. Putting restriction upon the visitors to her residence. 7. Imposition bar to her visit to USA to look after her pregnant daughter. The recently recent cases are false and fabricated is narrate in annexure- I And II. The government is prolonging their power with a plea of new voter list and voter ID card. By this time they are trying to break the two major political parties Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Bangladesh Awami League to create political vacuum to safe guard their power with participation of army like Pakistan. Under the prevailing situation the political institution will be praised paving way of fundamentalist to state power like Afganistan. So, for the instant democracy as per existing agenda of world community for on politics to be lifted immediately, state of emergency should be withdrawn immediately and election should be held as soon as possible. Annexure-I Case no: 32/478 date. 13.06.07, Police Station Tejgaon, Dhaka Metroplitan Police, Dhaka under section 385/109 Bangladesh Penal Code against Sheikh Hasina, Ex-Prime Minister, is false and fabricated for the reasons narrated below: 1.In the column of the First Information Report (F.I.R.) recorded by Police the Place of Occurrence (P.O) is Ganabhaban and the date of occurrence were from 08.06.97 to 20.09.99. But those dates were the dates of withdrawal of money from Standard Chartered Bank and I.F.I.C. Bank at Banani and Gulshan branch, Dhaka. So on those dates, no occurrence took place at Gonobhaban and the place of occurrence has been shown as false. 2. In November 1996 tender was called and in march 1997 New England Power Company (NEPC) was selected by the Power Development Board (PDB). In the context of Bangladesh Govt. Tender Procedure and issuing work order of any electric power plant to the selected bidder no abnormal delay is found in this case. The Power Minister was Ex Army Chief Lt. General (retd) Mr. Nurunuddin Khan. So giving pressure upon the local agent of power plant supplier NEPC by Sheikh Helal, the cousin of Sheikh Hasina for realization of 5 Crore Taka as a gratification with the threat of stopping work order was false. 3. It has been alleged that SK. Helal asked the complainant to hand over cash taka to SK. Hasina's hand but the complainant handed over 12 Cash cheques. The dates and time of handing over of those cheque has not been mentioned by the complainant. From the list of those cheque, it is found that the money was withdrawn long after negotiation (March 1997) with NEPC. The cheque Noumbers, amount and dates of withdrawal of money are as follows: SL Cheque No Bank Amount Withdrawal date 1. 731952 Standard Chartered Bank 50,00,000 08.06.97 2. 731951 Do 50,00,000 08.06.97 3. 556002 Do 50,00,000 03.08.98 (after 1 Year 2 month) 4. 556009 Do 50,00,000 27.12.98 (after 4 month 24 days) 5. 528834 Do 10,00,000 24.01.99 (after about one month) 6. 528835 Do 50,00,000 06.03.99 (after one month 18 days) 7. 2336085 IFIC Bank 30,00,000 23.03.99 8. 54291 Standard Chartered Bank, Banani 10,00,000 05.04.99 9. 54293 Do 10,00,000 15.04.99 10. 54294 Do 10,00,000 26.04.99 11. 528848 Do 20,00,000 04.05.99 12. 54300 Do 20,00,000 20.05.99 For realizing gratification there is no example to accept such cheques of long duration of about 2 years. So the allegation of accepting those cheques is false and baseless story. The complainant has alleged that those cheques were handed over to SK. Hasina at Gonobhaban as an assurance of obtaining work order. It means that those cheques were delivered to Sheikh Hasina within March, 1997, before issuance of negotiation letter by P.D.B to NEPC. This is an unbelievable story which is false and fabricated. 4. All those cheques were CASH cheques. The complainant could not produce any evidence of withdrawal of money by Sheikh Hasina or her representatives. So acceptance of money by Sheikh Hasina is false and fabricated. 5.The cheques are found to be of different abnormal series which also create doubts in issuance of those cheques to the same person. 6. The complainant has alleged that he paid 1 crore 80 lac in cash to Seikh Helal but could not produce any evidence at the time of lodging the case. His claim to produce the evidence lateron is not acceptable as an evidence as it is after thought evidence. 7. As per Bangladesh Penal Code Section 385 is applicable only when at the threat of causing injury a person realizes money or any thing from the affected person. But in the so called story of this case there was no threat of causing injury to the complainant to realize money from him. So this case must not have to be instituted under section 385/109 Bangladesh Penal Code by the police. This proves police has instituted this case with ill motive. Annexure –II Case No. 34/489 dated 13.06.07 Section 385/109 Bangladesh Penal Code (B.P.C), Police Station Gulshan Dhaka Metropolition Police, against Sheikh Hasina and here cousin Sheikh Faizlul Karim is False & fabricated for the following reasons: 1. The Complainant Azam Chowdhury has alleged that Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim approached M/S Techno Prome Export (T.P.E) Russia to become local commission agent himself of Shiddhirganj Power Plant, Narayangonj, in the year 2000. At that time SK. F. K. Selim was the Health Minister holding Govt. office. As per existing rule, any person holding Govt. office can not be the Commission Agent of a foreign company. So the allegation of becoming Commission Agent against SK. F.K. Selim is false. 2. The complainant has alleged that T.P.F refused SK. F.K Selim to appoint him as their agent in the running project. For that refusal SK. F. K. Selim demanded commission. The question of refusal by T.P.E does not arise because SK. F.K. Selim as a Minister, had no scope to be the Commission Agent. So the allegation is false and baseless. 3. The complainant went to SK. F.K. Selim's Banani residence and handed over 8 cheques of 8 different dates amounting Tk 2,99,65,500. He has not mentioned the date and time of his presence in the house of SK. F.K. Selim. The name of Payee were also not mentioned in the allegation. The allegation is written, the complainant got enough time to write the story of allegation, so there is no scope of committing mistake in mentioning date, time and name of the payee. Without date & time the commission of occurrence is not admissible. So the allegation is false and fabricated. 4. Since the allegation against the Principal accused SK. F.K. Selim is false so the allegation *of abetment against SK. Hasina is absolutely false. 5. As per Bangladesh Penal Code Section 385 is applicable only when at the threat of causing injury a person realizes money or any thing from the affected person. But in the so called story of this case there was no threat of causing injury to the complainant to realize money from him. So this case must not have to be instituted under section 385/109 Bangladesh Penal Code by the police. This proves police has instituted this case with ill motive.