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Privacy Rights Observatory

By farjana - Posted on 29 January 2014

Privacy Rights Observatory_VOICE: Bangladesh

Issue for November-December 2013

Contents for newsletter

1. Computer and documents seized from opposition party office

2. India thinks about high-tech surveillance in indo-Bangla border

3. Conversation of editor of popular Bangla Newspaper leaked

4. Election commission concerns on the wealth statement of Member of Parliaments and Ministers : Conflict of Privacy and Right to Information? 

 1. Computer and documents seized from opposition party office

The law enforcers raided opposition party office on 30 November 2013 while detaining opposition leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed, and also raided party chairperson room by breaking lock without prior notice or search warrant. During raided, police took laptop, documents and hard disk of computer. 

News link:

2. India thinks about high-tech surveillance in indo-bangla border

Unabated illegal influx from Bangladesh has led the Ministry of Home Affairs to look for high- tech surveillance equipment, with the centre mulling to introduce force multipliers such as Long Range Reconnaissance and Observation System and Battle Field Surveillance Radars (BFSR).

With illegal infiltration from Bangladesh no showing  of abating, the Center has cleared proposals for introduction of the high-tech equipment, including high-tech BFSR, hand held thermal imager, night vision goggles among other sophisticated equipment.

The Border Security Force (BSF) is guarding 4096.70 km of the Indo-Bangladesh border which includes 856 km of the border in Tripura.   

News link:

3. Journalists conversation leaked

Recently, a conversation between two journalists of a renowned Bangla newspaper namely Prothom Alo published in youtube. The conversation was based on recent political situation and criticizing of ruling party. Phone tapping and publishing is frequently taking place in Bangladesh. Few months ago prime minister and opposition party leader’s phone conversation was leaked as well. This incident brought huge criticism in the society. We have not noticed any action by government. There is still lacking of right to privacy orientation in the society.

5. Election commission concerns on the wealth statement of Member of Parliaments and Ministers: Conflict of Privacy and Right to Information? 

There is huge criticism by Bangladeshi citizens about withdrawal of the wealth statements from the public domain submitted to the Election Commission by the candidates on the eve of 10th Jatiya Sangsad ( National Parliament) election which was held on 5th January 2014. The voters have the right to know about the wealth status of candidates as a mark of their integrity based on which they will elect their representatives in parliament which secured by a High Court order on May, 2005 required the EC to make public eight particulars about candidates including the wealth they possess. Now EC is questioned by hiding the candidates’ wealth information while they mount to violating the High Court's directive.

Even in the JS election of 2008, candidates had made facts about their wealth public. 

Meantime, talk of the town is that EC should not under any circumstances entertains the ruling party's plea to withhold candidates' wealth information from public view.


VOICE is a right based research and advocacy organization working mainly on the issues of human rights-- right to information and communication justice, privacy rights and data protection, as well as around the issues of globalization-- aid and development effectiveness, post 2015 development agenda, international financial institutions, economic justice, food sovereignty, climate change etc, both in Bangladesh and on a global scale. By building a broader constituency of alternative voices to the mainstream development discourse through research and public education, VOICE takes a stand against unjust and undemocratic practices. 

It strategically works through networking and partnership for a new development paradigm establishing a micro-macro linkage in order to generate increased support for policy influencing. It works with a team of activists on research and action and believes in promoting the capacity, knowledge and empowerment of people.