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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: 185
September 4, 2010

This week's issue:
Reviewing the views
Human Rights advocacy
Law campaign
Laws For everyday life
Rights corner
Rights monitor
Law Week

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Law week

E-stalkers on the prowl
While conventional stalking has received much attention lately, harassment through mobile phones and the internet has grown to be a silent epidemic in the last few years. The Daily Star has recently interviewed 30 women at random about the issue, and found every one of them has been harassed electronically by ex-boyfriends or strangers. "It is sexual harassment of the new millennium," said Sultana Kamal, rights activist and former adviser to the caretaker government. “And almost all the victims are women." -The Daily Star, September 2, 2010.

Man dies in custody
A man died in police custody in Goshairhat upazila of Shariatpur district August 31evening. The deceased was identified as Mokhlesur Rahman, 40, of Mashurgaon village of the upazila. Though the law enforcers described his death as an act of suicide, family members and locals denounced the police claim terming it false. Locals brought out a procession carrying the body yesterday afternoon demanding a fair probe. Mokhlesur's wife Morsheda Begum alleged that her husband died of police torture. -The Daily Star, September 2, 2010.

PM again warns BCL wrongdoers
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina once again said her government is preparing a list of errant activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League to bring them to book. On July 16, Sheikh Hasina issued Chhatra League activists the same warning at a Awami League Central Working Committee meeting. The premier was yesterday speaking at a discussion organised by BCL at the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre marking the August 15. "We are collecting information and preparing a list of Chhatra Shibir and Chhatra Dal activists who infiltrated into BCL and are committing violence in public universities and colleges," said Sheikh Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president. -The Daily Star, September 1, 2010.

Ship-breaking yard fined for pollution
The Department of Environment (DoE) fined a ship-breaking yard at Madambibir Hat under Sitakunda upazila of the port city Tk 15 lakh for ignoring workers' safety and polluting environment. A team led by DoE Director (Enforcement) Munir Chowdhury fined Messrs Rahim Steel Co under Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995. Sources said six workers were killed and 11 others injured in a fire that broke out while cutting an oil tanker at the ship-breaking yard on December 26 last year. The DoE in its investigation into Rahim Steel Co found that there were not sufficient safety measures for the workers, said Munir. -The Daily Star, September 1, 2010.

Witness the weakness
Zafrun Nahar had spent five years trying to have her son's killers punished. But no witness showed up to testify at the trial for fear of reprisals. Frustrated that all her hard work brought nothing, she now sees no point in trying. “I have waited enough…seen enough. But no more do I wait for justice,” says a battle-weary Zafrun, 61. Her elder son Himel, 25, was shot dead on Salimullah Road in the capital's Mohammadpur area in February 1997. In the murder trial, 34 dates had been set for testimony of the prosecution witnesses. But no-one dared to appear in the court in the face of intimidation by the accused and their associates. -The Daily Star, August 31, 2010.

No conviction in 90pc cases
Police fail to get convictions in a mind-boggling 90 percent cases, the Human Rights Commission chief revealed. HRC Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman also said police exercise excess power, abuse laws and make indiscriminate arrests but they ultimately fail to prove charges they bring against the arrestees. Mizanur said this at a discussion that followed the launching ceremony of the book "101 Question and Answers About the Police". Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust (BLAST), Nagorik Uddyog and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative arranged the programme at Cirdap auditorium in the capital. -The Daily Star, August 31, 2010.

44 workers stranded in Sharjah for 5 months
At least 44 Bangladeshi workers have been languishing in the United Arab Emirates for the last five months after they sued their employers for not paying wages for nearly a year. The workers living in two camps in Sharjah can neither find new jobs nor have enough money to return home. They filed two cases against their employers in March but are yet to get verdict from the court. Rawshan, one of the workers, said their employers had not provided them with any food, water or electricity since they filed the cases. "We are surviving with the help of some local organisations," he said from a camp for 29 Bangladeshi and an Indian worker. - The Daily Star, August 30, 2010.

Ctg ship-breaker fined for ignoring workers' safety
The Department of Environment (DoE) fined a ship-breaking yard at Sonaichhari under Sitakunda upazila Tk 7 lakh for ignoring workers' safety and environmental pollution. A team led by DoE Director (Enforcement) Munir Chowdhury fined Messrs Sultana Ship-Breaking. This is the first time a ship-breaking yard was penalised. Munir said one worker was killed and four others were injured in a fire on July 12 while cutting an oil tanker of a ship at the ship-breaking yard. According to the certificate of the explosives department, the ship was not free from petroleum substances, which was risky for workers, he said. “The yard pollutes air of the area through burning oily substances”. - The Daily Star, August 30, 2010.

Let Sangsad rule
The parliament has largely lost its power and pre-eminence due to some changes brought to the constitution by the 4th, 5th, 12th and 13th amendments. Although the original constitution of 1972 ensured the parliament's supremacy over the executive and judicial branches of the state, the amendments brought by both military rulers and elected governments, not only eroded parliament's power, it made the House subservient to the chief executive in some cases. The House was originally structured to serve as the core of the parliamentary system of government.
- The Daily Star, August 29, 2010.

Trafficker, 8 Rohingyas arrested
Detective Branch (DB) of Police arrested a trafficker along with eight Rohingya refugees with seven forged Bangladeshi passports yesterday during a raid on a hotel in the city's Segunbagicha area. The arrestees are Rehana Akhter, 18, Abdul Kader, 32, Mohammad Alam, 40, Mohammad Rafique, 20, Abdul Malek, 30, Mohammad Shafique, 21, Jannat Ullah, 18, Jane Alam, 23 and trafficker Mohammad Yasin, 25. During interrogation by the police, they confessed that they had gathered at the hotel to go abroad using Bangladeshi passports which they had obtained through forgery. - The Daily Star, August 29, 2010.


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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