World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


BANGLADESH: Big Brother Law for NGOs on the anvi l

BANGLADESH: Big Brother Law for NGOs on the anvi l

The Bangladesh government wants to quash human rights activism. The cabinet has approved the "Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Bill, 2014", which will likely become law soon. The Bill empowers bureaucrats to decide the fate of NGOs and voluntary activities. All individuals or collectives, from NGO's to volunteer groups, receiving foreign funds for implementing projects will be under constant surveillance under this law.

The law will usher even more arbitrary executive actions in Bangladesh. The Bill, in its current form, empowers bureaucrats to grant registration to NGO's on the basis of 'satisfaction' and suspend, cancel, or disband registration for alleged 'irregularities' in any project implemented by the NGO. There is no scope for challenging the government's decision before any court.

On the other hand, the government will be able appoint administrators to sue persons linked to targeted entities. The Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister will decide the 'appeal' of an aggrieved entity within 30 days. The decision of the Secretary will be final.

Section 19 takes the cake. "For the fulfilling the purpose of this law, the government, by Gazette Notification, can promulgate rules: provided that unless the rules are made, the government, when necessary, by general or special orders, in compliance with this law, can take any action and can execute any order under this law", reads the section. It leaves no doubt about the NGO purge that awaits Bangladesh.

To achieve its ends, the Bill seeks to attribute all related power to the Director General (DG) of the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB), a wing under the Office of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The entire set of executive administrative officers – from the Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (UNO), the chief executive officer at the sub-district level, to the regional Divisional Commissioner, will be given the authority to inspect, monitor, and evaluate the activities of NGOs. These executive officers will be empowered to visit NGO offices from time to time and conduct monthly coordination meetings for evaluating activities.

Big Brother is set to enter NGOAB, which has so far been ruled by corruption and politicisation, being as it is a part of the state apparatus. The Prime Minister's schizophrenic desires, 'save this one' and 'off with that head', will be honoured by bureaucrats under this law. As it is, the government and the judiciary, which is just another tool in the hands of the government, have been constantly harassing local and international human rights defenders, organisations, and professionals. Now bureaucrats will join the party.

The patterns of recent harassment indicate that this law will be both used and abused against human rights organisations. Those reluctant to compromise with the regime will be crushed. Those with allegiance to the regime will be further trained to hit the right tune when more gross rights violations occur. The little knowledge creation in Bangladesh will be restricted further, as the Bill seeks to ban foreign funding even for autonomous bodies, such as universities.

The Bill has elicited a curious response in Bangladesh. Certain 'elite' members of civil society in Bangladesh are aggrieved about the inclusion of individuals under the control of the NGOAB in the Bill, as this will, apparently, hurt their lucrative consultancies. However, the repression the law will unleash across the nation appears to be beyond comprehension.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>


UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq

  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news