“The closed door trial will undermine the image of Bangladesh abroad” said William Sloan

E-Bangladesh

E-Bangladesh

E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

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[William Sloan with Bangladesh Awami League leaders, Photo from Banglar Chokh

[Dhaka Correspondent]

William Sloan, President of Canada Chapter of American Association of Jurist(AAJ), currently visiting Bangladesh, was denied entry to a special court on February 19.

Sloan, also an international human rights lawyer, went to the special judge’s court set up at the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) premises at about 2:00 pm, but the security personnel did not let him in where the court is housed.

“I am disappointed being denied access to the court to observe the trial of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Sloan told reporters at the gate of the MP Hostel on the Jatiya Sangsad complex.

He said, “By not allowing me to enter the courtroom it has been proved that this is not a public trial… Nasty things happen in the dark.”

It is imperative to ensure transparency in the trial of the former prime minister, he observed.

Sloan said he had witnessed many important trials around the world, but this was for the second time in his life he had been obstructed in such cases. Earlier he was barred from witnessing the trial of dictator General Pinochet of Chile.

“This is a very bad thing. This is not a public trial. There is nothing to hide. Why are the proceedings held behind closed doors? This is not a good sign. I am very disappointed,” Sloan remarked.

Reacting to the obstruction of Sloan, Hasina’s counsel Shafique Ahmed told reporters that William Sloan did not come here as a lawyer of Hasina, but to watch the trial process as a jurist.

“This will raise the question about the transparency of the Bangladeshi judicial system before the international community,” he said. “It will undermine the image of Bangladesh abroad.”

Police inspector Salahuddin Khan, who was on duty, said Sloan had been barred from entering the courtroom as he came to Bangladesh as a tourist.

“If any foreigner comes to Bangladesh on a tourist visa, he requires permission from the Special Branch to visit any protected area,” the police official explained.

Asked how Canadian lawyer Payam Akhavan had entered the courtroom to witness Hasina’s trial in the Taka 2.99 crore extortion case late January, the officer said he did not have any information on him at that time.

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E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.


2 Responses to ““The closed door trial will undermine the image of Bangladesh abroad” said William Sloan”

  1. DemocracyWatch

    These are dangerous developments. There are unconfirmed reports circulating in Dhaka that the US embassy is in direct consultation with the DFI and NSI chiefs about the plight of the two former PMs. The US administration wants the army to keep the two women out of coming elections. This is the ugly hypocritical face of the US admin.

    Mr. William Sloan should find out the facts and confirm if this is true. He can easily find out through his powerful contacts in the Congress. If that is the case the proponents of undemocratic elements within the state department should be rebuked and warned of venturing in uncharted waters beyond their jurisdiction. The last eight years have seen the total ruination of US image abroad because of fascist overtures in US foreign policy. Pakistan is a glaring example of stupid US policy in the region. Now Bush’s attempt to keep Musharraf at helm may put the lives of PPP and PML(NZ) politicians at risk because of Musharraf’s US-driven attack on militant strongholds.

    There are serious concerns about the so called caretaker govt. in Bangladesh. It has started toying with democracy. They are coming up with blockhead ideas about corrupting democracy in Bangladesh. The army is treading in areas where angels fear to tread.

  2. Khairuzzaman Kamal

    Hello E-Bangladesh members,

    Greetings from Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum-BMSF.

    I am pleased to thanks to all of you wha are involved this forum. We feels this e-forum will be ensuring press freedom of the Bangladeshi human rights activists/campigners/defenders who never try to tell a sample truth in the country due to present situtaion. We are very happy when we seen Saleem Samad bhai involved with this forum.

    We have big expectation from this forum?

    Best luck.

    Khairuzzaman Kamal
    Dhaka
    http://www.bmsf-bd.org

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