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Eighteen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Sunday claimed Bangladesh has fallen into a corruption trap following the climate fund management.
This trap will help the World Bank (WB) to establish control over climate fund, the representatives from the CSOs expressed in their observation.
They urged the government to accumulate all climate funds under a single autonomous board to avoid any trap and keep WB out of climate finance which the LDC nations have been promised.
The civil society rights groups led by EquityBD said these while forming a human chain in front of the National Press Club in city.
Representatives from CSRL, BUP, Humanity Watch, APON, ASOW, Online Knowledge Centre, EquityBD, Lead Trust, NCCB, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Jatiya Sramik Jote, SIRAC Bangladesh, DCI, PRAN, SDO, SUPRO and VOICE participated in the human wall.
Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD coordinated the progarmme while Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of NCCB, Prodip Kumar Roy of Online Knowledge Centre, Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Fakhrul Ferdous of DCI, Mohin Ahmed of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Farhana Akther of SUPRO, among others, spoke on the occasion.
A High Court bench on Monday ordered the government to remove closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras from the service rooms of beauty parlours across the country.
The order came amid an outcry over privacy after a woman made allegations to police and the media that she was taped on a CCTV camera while taking service at Persona on September 30.
Acting on a writ petition filed by a rights organisation, Justice Farid Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif passed the order.
The judges also issued a rule asking five senior government officials to explain within two weeks why they should not be directed to make a policy over the sue of CCTV cameras in service rooms of female saloons.
The respondents included the information secretary, home secretary, labour secretary, inspector general of police and the director general of Rapid Action Battalion.
Earlier in the day, Advocate Alena Khan, chief executive of Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation, filed the writ petition as public interest litigation.
The petition says after the Persona incident most of the people irrespective of female and male used to take parlour services are in fear that they might have been captured by CCTV cameras and their footage was used for an illegal motive.
Sun Sep 25 15:31:11 2011
Saleem Samad - AHN News Correspondent
Dhaka, Bangladesh - (AHN)
Bangladesh security agencies need to be under scrutiny of the parliament, as they are blamed for infringement of privacy by tapping phones and hacking emails.
Former senior bureaucrat Margub Murshed made the statement Sunday, saying that during his time as head of the telecom regulatory body, he turned down an offer by security agencies to wire tapping private individuals without proper authorization.
His statement was backed up by others attending a discussion Sunday organized by rights organization VOICE in the capital.
Akhteruzzaman Manju, the head of an Internet service provider association, disclosed that they are forced to provide details of email traffic to the telecom authority commission every three months in violation of privacy rights.
Protection of privacy rights demanded
Speakers at meeting on Saturday demanded protection ofprivacy rights of the citizens while using internet, cell phone and other IT media for various purposes.
They also demanded maintaining privacy of personal datawhile providing to the government and non-government organizations.
Voice for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE), anon-government organization, held an exchange of views meeting at the JatiyaPress Club with its executive director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud in the chair.Pointing to Article 43 of the Constitution on protection of home andcorrespondence, they said every citizen shall have the right to be secured inhis home against entry, search and seizure.
The citizens shall also have the privacy to hiscorrespondence and other means of communication, they added.
Rights activists urged the government to initiate district budget in the national budget for the next financial year for the development of rural areas as well as achieving the Vision 2021 as envisaged.
They said that the present budget preparation as colonial top down process and there is no alternative to achieve Vision 2021without district budget.
They were speaking at a rally organised by 14 rights based civil society organisations led by EquityBD in front of the National Press Club on Saturday. The organisations include Arpon, Ahish, Online Knowledge Centre, EquityBD, Eso, SDO, MABS, Lead Trust, Prodip, BNNRC, Voice, Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Bangladesh Krihsok Federation and Sirak Bangladesh.
SM Saikat of Sirak Bangladesh said people have no participation in preparing the budget. Nor the people from district level have the means to monitor implementation of the budget. Absence of people’s participation in the process and implementation of the budget has given the rise of pervasive corruption.
Feroze Ahmed of Lead Trust said the top down process is basically responsible for growing trend of widening the gap of regional disparity.
A non-government organisation has demanded formation of independent 'Privacy Commission' in a bid to establish the rights of secrecy and protect personal information, reports bdnews24.com.
'Voice,' a development research organisation, made the demand at a press conference on Friday on the eve of International Privacy Day.
The organisation also urged the government to amend the Telecommunications Act-2006 to protect the rights to personal privacy.
Different European countries, along with the USA, have been observing Jan 28 as 'Data Privacy Day' since 2008. Several Asian countries have started observing the day this year.
The executive director of 'Voice,' Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, said that the road to economic advancement and the communications of the people were extended due to the Right to Information Act and the development of information technology, 'but personal privacy rights were being violated through it.'
As per the Telecommunications Act, Mahmud said, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police and Detective Branch (DB) can eavesdrop anyone's phone call for the security of the country, "but one has to take permission from the authorities to protect personal information, if there is a Privacy Commission."
Civil rights activists and media professionals have called for enactment of a law to protect privacy and personal information from intrusion for upholding principles of civil liberty and human rights.
At a workshop on ‘privacy and human rights’ on Wednesday, they said private life and rights of citizens are being affected by misuse of technology and sometimes undue interventions by the government agencies.
Rights-based activist group VOICE and Privacy International jointly organised the workshop at the conference hall of Catholic Bishop Conference of Bangladesh in the city.
Syed Marghub Morshed, former chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, said the state should not cause any harm to individuals in the name of surveillance and should rather uphold the democratic rights of people.
He criticised the move to track individuals through the process of issuing biometric passport, voters’ identity cards and registration of mobile phones.
In his keynote paper, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud said both the state and the corporate companies were engaged in violating the individuals’ rights through massive surveillance on them.
Rights activists at a workshop on Wednesday demanded enactment of a privacy act to protect privacy, personal information, correspondence and
means of communication of people.
They also alleged that citizen’s rights are being massively violated by the State and corporate companies while people are subjected to massive surveillance by the state and corporate companies.
The workshop on ‘Privacy and Human Rights’ was held at the conference hall of Chatholic Bishops of Conference of Bangladesh in the city organized by rights based activist group VOICE and Privacy International.
Syed Marghub Morshed, former chairman of Bangladesh Telecommuni-cation Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Piash Karim BRAC University teacher, Selim Samad, a journalist, Tahmina Rahman, country director of Article 19, Mohiuddin Ahmed, an economist and Khairuzzaman Kamal of Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum, among others, spoke at the workshop.
Human rights organisations, women groups, CSOs, NGOs, journalists, and activist groups attended the workshop.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE, presented a keynote paper on privacy and human rights.
Organisers said that privacy is recognised as human rights in international conventions and Article 43 of Bangladesh constitution also guarantees individual rights to privacy.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Saturday called for rationalisation of distribution of aid that many donors allocate based on political, economic and strategic interests.
She made the call while she was addressing as co-chair an interactive policy dialogue on quality and quantity of ODA for LDCs and their debt problem in Lisbon, says a press release.
She also called for improving quality of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and rectification of the huge imbalances in terms of ODA per capita among the least developed countries (LDCs).
Dipu Moni highlighted the concern of gradual decrease in grant in the ODA mix and underscored the need for minimising transaction cost of ODA and making ODA disbursement and delivery flexible and predictable.
On external debt situation, she underlined that diversion of money from poverty alleviation initiatives and programmes to service debts has its own economic and social implications.
She stressed the need for full and comprehensive debt relief measures for highly indebted countries and for a case-by-case debt relief for countries like Bangladesh.
Multi-stakeholder Consultation on the Joint Cooperation Strategy in the Context of Aid and Development Effectiveness
The Aid Accountability Group, with assistance from the Reality of Aid Network, organized a multistakeholder consultation on the Joint Cooperation Strategy (JCS) in the context of aid and development effectiveness, 20 September 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The JCS, signed by the Government of Bangladesh and 18 Development Partners (including ADB and WB apart from donor countries) on June 2010, is a strategy for signatories to work together in the spirit of PD and AAA, aiming to translate international commitments on aid into real actions for improved aid delivery and poverty reduction in Bangladesh.
Different positions were put forth during the consultation. According to Dr Qazi Khalikauzzaman (Chairman of Pally Karmasahayak Foundation), aid stands at less than 2 percent of the national budget but the conditionalities attached are unbearable and lead to worsening poverty. This was supported by economist and Professor Anu Muhammad, who stated that a net foreign aid at 1b USD, 90% is spent on logistics, travel and consultancy fees. Instead, the country should concentrate on domestic resource mobilization and remittances.