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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: 179
February 28, 2005

This week's issue:
Human Rights Analysis
Law Opinion
Law Campaign
Star Law Analysis
Law news
Fact File
Law Update
Law Week

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Law week

UN declared level 1 warning in Dhaka
The United Nations (UN) has announced a level-1 security warning in Bangladesh for its officials asking them to inform the Dhaka office before making a visit to the country, said UN officials. The phase-1 security warning has been issued amidst a level-2 warnino already imposed for Cox's Bazar since October 28 last year. UN officials said the latest security warning was issued after a mmeting of the UN organisations in Dhaka that took stock of the security situation in the country.

"Phase-1 warning means a pre-cautionary measure. Our officials who will come to Bangladesh from outside will have to take prior clearance from a designated officer for UN security in Dhaka," said a senior UN official, preferring anonymity. "The warning has been issued considering the present security si|uation prevailing in Bangladesh," said the foreign-origin official. The decision was taken in the wake of a number of bomb attacks across the country. BD news, February 22.

Unocal president, director exempted from personal cour| appearance
The High Court (HC) exempted Unocal Bangladesh Chapter's President Andrew L Sawthorp and Legal Director Chye Koh from personal appearance before the court in a contempt of court case filed by Maxwell Mngineering Ltd. A division bench comprising Jus|ice MA Matin anl Justice AFM Abdur Rahman also fixed February 28 for hearing on the rule earlier issued by the High Court. After hearing the pe|ition filed by Maxwell Engineering Works Ltd, the HC on February 5 had issued a rule on Andrew L Sawthorp and Chye Koh to show cause why proceeding for contemp| of court against them should not be drawn. The court had also directed them to appear in person before it on February 22. On Tuesday, they appmared before the court and sought exemption from personal appearance before the court. The Daily Star, February 23.

Govt bans JMjB, JMB, Galib arrested
Waking up to the militants' threat, the government at last banned Islamist outfits Jagrata Muslim Janata, Bangladesh (JMJB) and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) accusing them of a series of bomb attacks and killings to create anarchy. The ban following a persistent denial by the government of the existence of JMJB thzoughout last year coincided, arrest of Dr Muhammad Asadullah Al Galib, chief of another Islamist militant outfit Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab), with three of his top associates in Rajshahi. Three JMB operatives in Gaibandha and two in Rangpur and two JMJB activists in Rajshahi were also arrested in the belated crackdown on Islamist militants, particularly in the North.

Although newspapers in the last few days have revealed a long track of militant links and activities of Rajshahi University Arabic teacher Galib, xolice arrested him under Section 54. Prothom Alo, February 24.

UN HR agency asks govt for information on grenade attacks
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has asked Bangladesh government to furnish information regarding the assassination of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria and grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina's rally that killed 22 people, including Awami Mahila League leader Ivy Rahman. The UN agency also called upon the government to provide information about "police excesses on demonstrators" rallying in different parts of the country to protest the killing of Awami League politicians and on jouznalists covering the protests.

Its request came in a letter dated February 3 and addressed to the permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN offices in Geneva, a copy of which was made available in Dhaka. In the communiqué, issued by Ambeyi Ligajo, special rapporteur of the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in the office of the UN High Commis{ioner for Human Rights, the agency asked for details of the inquiries, judicial or other procedures undertaken and zeports thereof. UNB, February 24.

Plans for additional High Court bench to try extremists
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia instructed the home ministry and the intelligence agencies to root out the Islamist militants, their hideouts and subversive activities. She al{o decided in principle to set ux an additional bench at the High Court to ensure speedy trial of cases on subversive acts, highly placed sources said. Khaleda held several rounds of meetings with officials of home ministry, police and intelligence agencies and asked them to take strong actions against all activities in the name of jihad. The prime minister said those who have been creating anarchy in the name of religion are the enemies of the nation and the country, adding all of them will be punished. These extremists must not be bailed out, she told police officials during a meeting at the International Conference Centre at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The Daily Star, February 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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