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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: 69
May 24 , 2008

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Strong governance needed to protect human rights: US Official
Respect due process and transparency in all cases

In a recent meeting with journalists, visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Erica Barks-Ruggles stressed on developing strong institutions of governance to address corruption, protect human rights and promote labour rights.

On May 21, 2008 during an hour-long discussion at the American Club in Gulshan Barks-Ruggles said, “the military had assured her that there would be no military takeover in Bangladesh”. They discussed the electoral preparations, processes of voter registration and crosschecking of the draft list and election observations that all lead to holding a transparent election. “We're happy that all the process and preparations are going on and going well,” she said.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Ms. Erica Barks-Ruggles speaks at a press meet. Harvey W. Sernovitz, Deputy Director of the American Center, sits beside her.

Over the past several days, she met many government officials and appreciated their efforts on restoring democracy. “The Caretaker Government has done much to prepare the nation for the upcoming elections and to implement long overdue reforms”, she said.

Addressing Bangladesh as a strong partner, she said that the country has a strong role to play in this region and for its growth democracy and good governance is a must. Strong institutions are necessary to ensure that the reforms being undertaken now will continue after the election. This election will also promote effective government bodies that respect due process and provide international standards of human rights.

“The US Government supports for a free, transparent and credible parliamentary election before the end of 2008”, she added. “We look forward to the process (lifting emergency) and hopefully as soon as possible”, added Barks-Ruggles, who is the third high-ranking official from Washington.

The US official also stressed on the significance of having active free media and role of civil society for transparent and credible election, ensuring the successful transition back to democracy. She also urged that fair and transparent trail of the corrupt political leaders and others should also be ensured at any means.

-Law Desk.


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