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‘Killing democracy is killing hopes’
Dhaka, BdChronicle Political Reporter (Md. Kamruzzaman):
Monitoring the latest development of apolitical politics here in Bangladesh, the high-flying members of civil society opined that the democracy is being destroyed by tearing down the political institutions and by violating rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of assembly.
Scholars, educationists, lawyers, researchers and rights activists from home and abroad have expressed deep concern over the latest development of politics of anti-politics as freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of assembly enshrined in both The Constitution of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh and in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nations have been put in chains.
While expressing the disappointment over the confinement of prominent citizens, they all come to an end saying that the deprivation of the rights to movement, assembly and association amounts to the killing of political institutions. And, the deprivation of universal human rights amounts to the killing of democracy. And, the killing of democracy means the killing of hopes of a human being.
Serajul Islam Choudhury, an eminent Littérateur, professor emeritus of University of Dhaka, believes that no human being should be put in chains beyond laws, be it confinement in a house or blocked up from all sides so that she/ he cannot go for the exercise of fundamental rights.
The senior lawyer, Dr Shahdeen Malik deems that the every citizen has rights to enjoy freedom of movement and assembly enshrined in The Constitution of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
This reporter inquired here about Article 36 (Freedom of movement): ‘the right to move freely throughout Bangladesh.’ To this end, the prominent lawyer maintains same as per this article that the no entity can take away this rights to freedom of movement from a citizen illegally. The legal discussion with the lawyer puts an end with conclusion that the confinement of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan Office since Saturday night was the violation of this Article 36.
The ruling Awami League reiterates time and again that they are in the Government for the continuation and uphold of the constitution. On the other hand, the violation of Article 36 has been seen allegedly by AL govt.
On January 5, when Begum Khaleda Zia intended to come out of her Gulshan Office in order to attend the prescheduled public rally at Nayapaltan, Police locked up the main gate of the BNP chief’s office around 12:15pm on Monday.
Police have cordoned off the office from all sides, particularly the main gate, and no one has been allowed to enter or leave it since Monday morning.
Inquired again about the Article 37 (Freedom of assembly): ‘Every citizen shall have the right to assemble and to participate in public meetings and processions peacefully,’ this reporter examined the political scenario here in the city; found that the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) imposed the ban on political rallies and assemblies in the capital Dhaka. Grippingly, the Ban was strictly in force on oppositions’ rallies. On the other hand, the ruling Awami League held a good number of rallies in the city.
Despite the ban on all kinds of rally and gathering in the capital slapped by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), leaders and activists of the ruling Awami Leauge took to the streets on Monday.
Visiting different areas in the capital, including Mirpur, Shyamoly, Dhanmondi, Motijheel and Paltan areas, this correspondent found that AL activists and leaders took positions at numerous points of the areas since Monday morning.
At some of the spots, the AL activists even set up pandals and played songs using loudspeakers. In front of the Siddeswari College nearby Century Arched Market, Chhatra League activists captured the main road setting around a good number of chairs, and were chatting in good humour blocking the traffic.
AL acting secretary general Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif said AL activists took positions at about 200 spots in the capital on Monday.
Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, the former chairman of the department of International Relations of the University of Dhaka, believes that each signatory country must comply with fundamental human rights charter enshrined in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nations.
Inquired here about Article 13(1) by this reporter: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state,’ to this end, the professor maintains the same as per this article that no government can snatch away this rights to freedom of movement from a man as she/he acquires it naturally. The discussion relating to the international laws with this expert puts a sum that the confinement of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan Office since Saturday night was the violation of the Article 13(1) of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nations.
Inquired again about the Article 20 (1): ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association,’ this correspondent studied the political situation here in the city; found that the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) slammed the ban on political rallies and assemblies in the capital Dhaka. Interestingly, the embargo was sternly imposed on oppositions’ rallies. On the other hand, the ruling Awami League organized 200 rallies in the city, said Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif , the acting secretary general of AL.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) on Monday urged the government to lift the police siege of the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office and allow her to walk free.
CPB president Mujahidul Islam Selim came up with the call at a joint press conference organised by CPB-BSD at the CPB central office at Paltan.
BSD general secretary Khalequzzaman and CPB general secretary Syed Abu Jafar Ahmed were, among others, present at the pres conference.
Ekushey Television (ETV) channel’s picture went off air in different parts of the capital on Monday.
The channel’s screen went black on television about 2:30 pm on Monday, giving rise to speculation that the private television channel had been taken off air by the govt.
The Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) finally arrested Ekushey Television Ltd (ETV) chairman Abdus Salam from in front of ETV office in the city’s Karwan Bazar area early Tuesday.
ETV managing director Ashraful Alam, also the younger brother of Abdus Salam, told that plainclothes police picked up his brother from in front of ETV office while he was returning home around 3:30 am.
DMP deputy commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman confirmed that the DB members arrested Abdus Salam.
At least 5 people were killed in different part of the country. 2 JCD men were killed in AL-BNP clash in Natore, 1 in Rajshahi, 1 in Chapainawabganj and the other in Chandpur district.
On January 6, in the afternoon, Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir, the acting Secretary General of Bangladesh Nationalist party has been arrested by Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police from press club on around 4:00pm Tuesday.
Shortly after the press briefing, Fakhrul went out of the press club to ride on his car. Then, DB police surround him and within few minutes they have arrested and took him away to DB Head Quarters.
(The Reporter is also a political analyst and News Editor of the BD Chronicle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)