HR boss barred from visiting jail

September 30, 2011

He demands removal of prisons chief
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Mizanur Rahman was barred from entering Sylhet Central Jail by authorities on Thursday morning.
Mizanur Rahman arrived at the jail’s entrance at around 9am and waited for the jail’s acting superintendent to appear. The NHRC Chairman left around 11am after being refused permission to inspect the jail.  The purpose of the visit was to assess whether human rights violations are occurring and if proposed reforms should be submitted to the government. After leaving Sylhet Central Jail, Mizanur told The Independent that the jail authority quoted an order from the Inspector General of Police, Prison (IGP) while refusing him entry.  However, he alleged that the IGP did not abide by laws passed by the national parliament.
Mizanur demanded the IGP be removed from his post and punished, and that the NHRC will take action in this regard. He also said the NHRC will challenge IGP’s decision not to let him inside in a higher court.
Mizanur said, “[IGP] not only disobeyed constitutional law but also ignored the local administration. Why does he think himself so powerful?” He added that the post of IGP should be held by someone who will adhere to constitutional law.
Human rights group Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) issued a statement on Thursday supporting Mizanur’s request to visit the jail and condemning the earlier refusal.
ASK also said that NHRC’s chairman was kept waiting at the prison for at least 90 minutes and should not have been prevented from observing the whether inmates are being deprived of human rights. It stated that the action taken by the jail authority undermined the constitution, because NHRC is a constitutional body.
ASK has urged the government to take action against those responsible following a thorough investigation.

-With The Independent input

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