Odhikar blasts plainclothes surveillance

Rights watchdog Odhikar on Monday denounced ‘continued surveillance of plainclothes men’ on the activities of the rights organisation and its staff memebers following the release of its secretary Adilur rahman Khan on bail on October 11.

‘Monitoring and surveillance of the Odhikar office, its staff and Adilur Rahman Khan’s home has increased since his release on bail,’ the organisation said in a statement.

The plainclothes personnel have been identified from their constant presence at particular spots, mode of their transports and the equipment they carry, the statement said.

Odhikar staff members are also closely monitoring the situation and have reported the presence of plainclothes officers in the close vicinity of the office and Adilur’s house.

On August 10, the Detective Branch of police arrested Adilur, also a former deputy attorney general, in front of his Gulshan house in Dhaka.
On September 4, the detectives pressed charges against Adilur and Odhikar director ASM Nasiruddin Elan for publishing a report claiming that 61 people were killed in law enforcers’ action on Hefajat-e-Islam men in the capital in May 5-6. The case is pending with the Cyber Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka.

After being denied of bail thrice by the lower courts, Adilur had at last obtained bail from the High Court on October 8 and he was released on October 11.

The statement said that government officials were inquiring into the bank accounts and expenditures of Odhikar and Adilur and the source and utilisation of Odhikar’s funds.

It also mentioned that the NGO Affairs Bureau was not giving approval to two of Odhikar’s projects related to election monitoring, which have been pending with the bureau since April.

The bureau is yet to release funds for the last phase of the ‘Human Rights Research and Advocacy’ project funded by the Netherlands. The project ended in June 2013, the statement said.

It said that the three laptops and two computers seized from Odhikar office by the Detective Branch on August 11 were
yet to be returned.  They contain vital fact finding reports and other data related to 19 years of Odhikar’s work.

Published on www.newagebd.com, October 29, 2013


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