South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Hafizuddin yesterday said the proposed amendments to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act 2004 will make the ACC dysfunctional.

TIB formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city to protest against the government’s move to amend ACC Act 2004 and drum up public support for making the commission independent, impartial and effective.

Hafizuddin told reporters: “The electoral pledge of the present government was strengthening ACC, but the government is doing its opposite by making amendments to the Act.”

He also stressed the need to resolve the existing crises in prosecution, investigation and trial in order to make it effective.

Curbing corruption is impossible unless the strength of the commission is improved, he added.

TIB launched a signature collection campaign along with the human chain to draw the government’s attention to reconsider the move and their demand to make ACC more effective.

The commission’s Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said ACC was established to meet the people’s demand and now it’s their demand to make it effective.

“We hope that the government will reconsider its move of brining amendments to the Act otherwise the government itself will be the worst sufferer if the amendments are made into Act,” he added.

“It would be nothing but cheating with people if the government goes away from its electoral pledges,” the executive director stated.

Human Rights Activists Advocate Sultana Kamal, who joined the programme, said scopes of exercising executive power have been ensured in the proposed amendments and these will curb ACC’s power.

“When the ACC cannot work independently, its influences come on human rights too,” She added.

Representatives of different Non-government development organisations took part in the human chain programme, says a TIB press release.

The signature collection campaign will continue till May 31, it added.

Source: The Daily Star – 19.05.2010

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