South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh today issued a Rule on the Government asking it why a Home Ministry Circular which only allowed a ‘No Visa Required’ stamp to be endorsed on the passports of ‘foreign national wives and children’ of Bangladeshi nationals, but not on those of foreign national ‘husbands’ should not be declared gender discriminatory and unconstitutional.
The petitioner, a Bangladeshi/Australian dual national married to a US national, had challenged the Circular dated 19 Aug 2007 as being in violation of her fundamental rights to gender equality and to life, including family life, referring to the Constitution and to the state’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women.
“We are delighted that the Court has responded so promptly, and we hope that the Government will now deliver on its pledges and take early action to deal with a glaring example of gender discrimination written into the law,” said Sara Hossain, who represented the petitioner.
A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Mr. Justice Gobinda Chandra Thakur issued the Rule and passed the interim order.