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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: 46
December 1, 2007

This week's issue:
Law Opinion
Human Rights Advocacy
Human Rights Monitor
Law Vision
Law Analysis
Law News
Law Week
Law Reform

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Law week

SC stays Hasina's bail in graft case
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed a High Court (HC) order granting bail to former premier Sheikh Hasina in a Tk 3 crore graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Full bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Ruhul Amin also stayed the HC ruling that halted the case proceedings. It directed the parties involved to have the HC rule in this regard disposed of. The SC orders came in response to an appeal by the anti-graft body. Earlier on November 4, an HC bench granted bail to Hasina and stayed proceedings of the case. It also issued a rule on the government and the ACC, asking them to explain within eight weeks why bringing the case under the ambit of emergency rules should not be adjudged illegal.

ACC Deputy Director MM Sabbir Hasan filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station on September 2 alleging that detained Awami League (AL) President Hasina and six others had helped a foreign company and its local partners win a contract for setting up a 100-megawatt barge-mount power plant for Tk 3 crore in kickbacks. The other accused are former energy secretary Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, former Power Development Board (PDB) chairman Noor Uddin Mahmud Kamal, Managing Director of Summit Industries and Mercantile Corporation Private Ltd Aziz Khan, its Director Farid Khan, United Group Chairman Hasan Mahmud Raja, and its Director Abul Kalam Azad. -The Daily Star, November 27.

Message development to combat human trafficking
The Daywalka Foundation, an International human rights organization working in the field of anti- human trafficking organized a message development workshop to prevent human trafficking involving interfaith leaders. The speakers in the workshop spelled out the severity of women and child trafficking in Bangladesh and the role of interfaith leaders to combat trafficking from the country. The issue of communal harmony was addressed and a need for a platform to work together with the interfaith leaders at the grass root level was addressed. The most important recommendation that came out from the workshop was to develop a uniform communication material and message on anti human trafficking citing the verses from the four major religions, which will be used for awareness rising among the community people.

The workshop was attended by the prominent religious leaders from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhism and Christian. Among the others, deputy secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs Mr. Md. Alamgir and senior information officer, Mr.Shahinoor Miah Shahin were also present. -- Press Release.

SC rejects plea for staying HC ruling on ACC notice to Hasina
The Supreme Court chamber judge rejected Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and government appeal for stay on the High Court ruling declaring the ACC notice served on former prime minister Sheikh Hasina for submitting her wealth statement illegal. However, the chamber judge referred the application to the regular bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for hearing on December 2.

The ACC and the government moved the application for halting the High Court judgment delivered on November 21. Chamber Judge M Hassan Ameen also passed a similar order on government petition seeking stay on operation of the November 22 High Court order granting bail to detained BNP leader Big General (retd) ASM Hannan Shah. The SC yesterday stayed the operation of the High Court order halting the proceedings of an extortion case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against detained former health minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim. The court passed the order upon an application filed by the ACC. - The Daily Star, November 29, 2007

3 get life for journo Belal murder
Three persons were given life term yesterday in journalist Belal murder case. The convicts are Syed Iqbal Hossain Shahhin, Rafiqul Islam alias Hasan and Sirajul Islam alias Merejall extremists. Three other charge-sheeted accused were acquitted as their involvement could not be proved. They are Yunus Ali Molla alias Goda Yunus, Ekhlasur Rahman and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Shahabuddin alias Dhira. All the six accused were present in the court during delivery of the verdict by Judge Abdus Salam Shikder of Khulna Speedy Trial Tribunal. Shaikh Belaluddin, Khulna bureau chief of Dainik Sangram, was injured in bomb attack on February 5, 2005 on the compound of Khulna Press Club and died at the CMH on February 11.

Belal's parents said they did not get justice as godfathers and financiers of the murderers were left out of charge sheet. - The Daily Star, November 29, 2007

UN establishes special representative on violence against children
The UN General Assembly's decision to establish a special representative to the secretary-general on violence against children is a welcome step toward combating this worldwide problem, said a broad coalition of human rights groups and child rights advocates. The decision to create the new position was made under the General Assembly's annual Resolution on the Rights of the Child, adopted today in the Third Committee by a vote of 176 to 1. The only country voting against the resolution was the United States. The appointment follows the release last year of the UN Secretary-General's Study on Violence against Children. This study exposed the shocking scope of violence against children worldwide and its devastating effects on children, their families, their communities, and broader society. "Violence is a daily reality for millions of children around the world," said Jo Becker of Human Rights Watch, co-chair of the NGO Advisory Council for follow-up to the UN Study on Violence against Children, a global network of nongovernmental organizations. "The special representative to the secretary-general will provide high-level international leadership to confront this global scourge."

The mandate for the new special representative includes enhancing the visibility of all forms of violence against children, advocating for the elimination of this violence, and supporting the implementation of the study's recommendations. Other aspects of the mandate include identifying and sharing good practices, and enhancing coordination and communication among key actors (including the UN system, member states, NGOs, children and youth). -Source: Human Rights Watch.

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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