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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 213
October 29, 2005

This week's issue:
Human Rights Monitor
Law Alter Views
Star Law Report
Law Opinion
Law News
Fact File
Law Week

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Law Week

Peace Mission in Sudan UN rejects Dhaka's bid to change chief
Bangladesh might lose the helm of the UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan as the government insists on having the present force commander replaced by another senior army officer, against the policy of the United Nations, sources said. Highly placed sources in the government said the UN has already rejected the government's proposal for replacement. Instead, it has requested the government to give the incumbent a nine-month extension. But the government is sitting on the UN request though over two weeks have gone since it [UN] formally asked for the extension, added the sources. "If the Bangladesh government does not comply with the UN request it will lose the commanding post in the Sudan mission as the UN policy is always against having replacement from the same country," a source told The Daily Star citing the UN peacekeeping policy on the appointment of force commander. Foreign Ministry Secretary Hemayetuddin during his visit to the US this month met the head of UN peacekeeping operations and submitted the replacement proposal. But Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno declined to consider the proposal as, he said, the UN policy does not provide for replacing the incumbent force commander by someone from the same country. -The Daily Star, October 23.

Call for UN resolution on victims of power abuse
The Commonwealth Law Ministers' Meeting (CLMM) has called for adoption of the United Nations Resolution on victims of crime and abuse of power. The CLMM gave the call in a 33-point communiqué issued on the concluding day of the October 17-20 meet in Accra, Ghana, according to a report of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed led the Bangladesh delegation at the 13th CLMM. Terrorism, human rights and juvenile justice in the Commonwealth were some of the major issues that came up at the meet, attended by over 160 delegates who included the law ministers or their representatives from the 53 member countries of the organisation. The meeting reaffirmed the principles that such victims must be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their personal dignity. It called upon member countries to consider implementation of the measures designed to give practical effect to these principles. -The Daily Star, October 23.

Home ministry orders arrest of Rohingyas involved in crime
The home ministry has recently issued an order to prepare a list of Rohingyas illegally living in the inaccessible hilly areas of Bandarban and to arrest those involved in criminal activities. The order said a section of Rohingyas living in Bangladesh is involved in drugs and arms dealings as well as other criminal activities. The home ministry, in the order sent to the offices of district commissioner, police super, and detective agencies, asked for the arrest of suspected Rohingyas to curb human and arms trafficking and other form of crime. A home ministry insider said a large number of Rohingyas have been living in Bandarban for more than three decades but their involvement in crime was discussed for the first time at a meeting of the home ministry in September. -The Daily Star, October 24.

Bush hails ban on HuJi in Bangladesh
US President George W Bush has appreciated Bangladesh government's banning of Islamist group Harkat-ul-Jihad Al-Islami (HuJi) by terming it 'a great decision.' The president requested Bangladesh Ambassador to Washington Shamsher M Chowdhury to convey his appreciation to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, foreign ministry said in a press release. In a brief discussion at the White House the ambassador apprised the US president of the steps taken 'to uphold the image of Bangladesh' and its 'continuous effort to root out terrorism from its land.' The discussion took place at a recent Iftar party hosted by the US president. President Bush, who is leading a global 'war on terror', agreed that Bangladesh deserves due recognition and attention for its effort to eradicate terrorism and exercise the rule of law. -UNB, Dhaka, October 24.

Pro-BNP lawyers' strife flares up afresh
The wrangling between two factions of pro-BNP lawyers led by two ministers flared up again, with one group dissolving central committee of the Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum (JAF) and the other ousting the chief of a new convening committee. Communications Minister and Vice President of the JAF Nazmul Huda unilaterally dissolved the central committee before forming the 501-member convening committee headed by him. Soon after the announcement of the new body, JAF President TH Khan, and its Secretary General and Telecommunications Minister Aminul Haq gathered in an emergency meeting to oust Huda and BNP Law Secretary Advocate Joinul Abedin from the JAF for their anti-organisational activities. The impromptu meeting at Aminul's residence was attended by about 40 pro-BNP lawyers. The JAF central committee in a press release said Huda and his partner in the coup Abedin were asked on October 3 to show cause within seven days why they should not be expelled for their anti-organisational activities but they failed to respond. -Prothom Alo, October 25.

Another HC stay on Bac staff screening
The High Court (HC) once again stayed the Anti Corruption Commission's (ACC) screening criteria for recruitment of former staff of the Bureau of Anti Corruption (Bac). The court also stayed the functioning of ACC's October 2 letter that requested the government to withdraw 263 former Bac employees who do not qualify in its recruitment criteria. Besides, the court stayed June 29 appointment of 20 anti corruption officers (ACOs) at the ACC. Following a writ petition by some former ACOs of the Bac, the court also asked the ACC to explain why its appointment of 33 ACOs, the screening criteria and the October 2 letter will not be declared illegal. Earlier, following separate writ petitions filed by two batches of former Bac staff, the HC stayed the screening criteria and the October 2 letter, and sought the ACC's explanation about the legality of both these matters. -The Daily Star, October 25.


Corresponding with the Law Desk
Please send your mails, queries, and opinions to: Law Desk, The Daily Star 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215; telephone 8124944,8124955,fax 8125155;email <dslawdesk@yahoo.co.uk,lawdesk@thedailystar.net


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