Role of Police in a Democratic Society
The third and final series of workshop organised by CHRI in collaboration with BLAST (http://www.blast.org.bd/) and Nagorik Uddyog (http://www.nuhr.org/) on “Role of Police in a Democratic Society” was held in Khulna district. BLAST is one of the leading non-governmental legal services organization in Bangladesh whereas Nagorik Uddyok is a grassroots organization spread extensively throughout the country. The workshop sought to promote and popularise police reform debates in the country as well as spread awareness about citizens rights and police powers.
It was inaugurated by the Mayor, Mr Talukder Abdul Khaleq, Khulna City Corporation who emphasised upon the need for police reform and commended the organizations for holding the workshop. Other prominent guests included senior Bar Council members, district judges and lawyers, local NGOs and community leaders as well as district police officers. The discussions revolved around the major reform initiatives in Bangladesh under the Police Reform Program of the UNDP-Government of Bangladesh namely the establishment of Model Thanas in Dhaka, community policing initiatives, and the draft Police Ordinance 2007. A detailed summary of the workshop discussion will be published in the August 2011 edition of NIPSA newsletter (to be issued by 31st August 2011). For further information and subscription to the newsletter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of Events
CHRI in collaboration with Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust and Nagorik Uddyog
29-30 July 2011
CHRI is holding its third and final in a series of workshops on he role of police ina democratic society. Being held in Khulna district, the purpose of the workshop is to spread awareness about citizens rights vis-à-vis the police, facilitate interaction between local organizations and district police officers for the purpose of mutual understanding, and generate interest in and understanding of police reform debates in Bangladesh. Spread over two days, the workshop brings together various persons vested in systemic reform of the police including NGOs, local government officials, police, legal professionals and media.
The agenda of the workshop is as follows:
29 July, 2011
|4.00 pm – 4.30pm||Registration||Workshop Coordination Team (BLAST Khulna Unit + NU Representatives)|
|4.30pm – 4.40pm||Welcome Remarks||Mr. Fazlul Huq, Member, Board of Trustees, BLAST|
|4.40pm – 5.00pm||Introduction of participants|
|Session I Police Reforms in South Asia: An Overview|
|5:00pm – 5.30pm||
||Ms Muminunnesa, National Consultant, Victim Support, Police Reform Project, UNDP
Adv Qazi,Zahed Iqbal, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
|5.30pm – 5.45pm||Introduction to Citizen-centric Policing
||Ms Navaz Kotwal, CHRI|
|5.45pm 6.30pm||Perspectives from the Justice System||Superintendent of Police, Khulna
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Khulna
Deputy Commissioner, Khulna
DIG, Police, Khulna
District Judge, Khulna
|6.30pm – 7.10pm||Open Discussion|
|7.10pm – 7.20pm||Speech of the Chief Guest||Mr Talukder Abdul Khaleq
Mayor, Khulna City Corporation
|7.20pm – 7.30pm||Chairperson’s Speech||Adv. Md. Abdullah Hossain
President, Khulna Unit, BLAST
|7.30pm||Vote of Thanks||Mr ZI Khan
Chairperson, Legal Aid and Human Rights Committee
Bangladesh Bar Council
|9.00 am – 9.25am||Registration||BLAST Khulna Unit|
|Session II: Police-Public interface – FIR, Arrest and Detention (Group Work)
While the first session introduces policy debates on police reform, this session aims to facilitate interaction between local police officers and civil society organizations with a view to improve mutual understanding).
|9.30am – 10.00am||Presentation: Police Powers and Citizens’ Rights||Adv. Qazi Zahed Iqbal
Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme Court
|10.00am – 10.30am||Case Study 1: Registration of FIR
(2 Groups will carry out improvisation based on this case study)
Case Study 2: Arrest and Detention
|10.30am – 10.50am||Presentation of Case Study 1||Groups A and B|
|10.50am – 11.00am||Comments on Case Study 1||Adv. Qazi Zahed Iqbal
Advocate, Bangladesh Supreme Court,
Ms Navaz Kotwal, CHRI
|11.15am -11.35am||Presentation of Case Study 2||Groups C and D|
|11.35am – 11.45am||Comments on Case Study 2||Mr ZI Khan Panna Trustee, BLAST
Adv. Firoz Ahmed
Khulna Bar Association
|Session III: Public-police interface – Violence against Women (plenary session)
Again, the idea is to facilitate interaction between police and the people to improve mutual understanding on the issue of VAW – difficulties faced by victims of such violence as well as by the police in investigating such cases.
|11.45 – 12.15pm||Q&A||Ms Sara Hossain
Advocate, Supreme Court
Ms Muminunessa, National Consultant, Victim Support, Police Reform Project, UNDP
Session IV: Police and the people(plenary session)
|12 15 – 1.00pm||
|Ms Muminunessa, PRP
Khulna OCC Rep [ TBC]
Khulna Police Rep [ TBC]
Adv. Tajul Islam,
Programme Officer, CIDA
|1.00pm – 2.00pm||Lunch||Ms Muminunessa
Police Reform Project
|2.00 pm-2.30pm||Case Study 3 – Domestic Violence
Case Study 4 – Rape
|2.30 – 2.50pm
|Presentation of Case Study 3
Comments on Case Study 3
|3.00-3.20pm3.20-3.30pm||Presentation of Case Study 4
Comments on Case Study 4
|3.45-4.15pm||Talk show: Police and the people||Advocate Firoz Ahmed
Mr Gourango Nondi, Kaaler Kontho
Police Representative [ TBC]
SAVP III- October 2011
As part of CHRI and FNF’s ongoing effort to build a regional network in South Asia on the issue of better policing, theThird South Asia Visiting Programme is being organized in India in October 2011.
The Visiting Programme seeks to bring together select members of civil society, professionals, and/or practitioners across the region with the aim of facilitating exchange of information on police reform. Sharing experiences helps deepen understanding of what better policing should look like, various reform initiatives, and above all, the role that civil society can play towards achieving it. To this end, the Programme facilitates interaction and discussion with key professionals and experts in India on various ways of engaging with the police and using the law to achieve better realization of human rights and accountability. A wide range of meetings will be scheduled to enable a holistic understanding of reform work as it applies to policing. The central idea is to further the learning and build capacity of professionals in the field across the region so that they are able to draw lessons that can assist their efforts to improve police functioning.
A total of eight participants will participate in the Programme, two each from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The Programme will run over a week from 10-15 October 2011 (Monday-Saturday). Participants are expected to arrive in New Delhi by 9 October, Sunday whereas departures will be scheduled from 15 October, Saturday, onwards. All travel, boarding and lodging expenses will be covered by CHRI for the duration of the Programme. Participants however are responsible for securing visa on their own although CHRI will do whatever possible to facilitate the process.
Meetings will be scheduled in New Delhi and in Goa. Goa has been selected because the Police Complaints Authority (a civilian oversight body) has been more active than other states in terms of holding meetings, taking up suo motu cases against the police, and interacting with civil society. For this reason, an interaction with them, as well as select members of civil society will be valuable in erms of understanding police reform.
|New Delhi||“ How to use the tool of submitting questions to the Parliament for police reform”
|PRS Legislative Research, Center for Policy Research|
|“Pre-legislative critique and value for accountability”||Venkatesh Nayak, Co-Convener, RTI Campaign and Coordinator, RTI Programme, CHRI
|“Strategic Litigation and police reforms”||Vrinda Grover, Supreme Court lawyer
|“External oversight and police accountability: The Role of NHRC”
|National Human Rights Commission|
|“Legal literacy and training on police powers and citizens rights”
|Abha Singhal Joshi, advocate and legal expert|
|Goa||“Civilian oversight and police accountability: The Role of Police Complaints Authority – case of Goa”
|Police Complaints Authority|
|“Engaging with the Police Complaints Authority”
|Interaction with select social activists and complainants|
Upon selection and till the time of the workshop, the organizers will be in regular touch with the participants. Reading material useful for the meetings will be shared with the participants well in advance in order to enable better informed discussions. Participants are also encouraged to share their expectations from the Programme in case they will like training on any specific issue.
The selected participants will be required to submit an article following the workshop addressing any of the themes discussed as it applies to their respective countries. For instance, it can include an assessment of parliamentary oversight on policing in the Maldives (through an examination of questions and answers on police raised in the Parliament), or the working of the public safety commissions in Pakistan and how they can work better. The articles will be published on NIPSA website although participants are also welcome to publish the articles in their national dailies or relevant journals. The idea is to generate debate on police reforms drawing from the Visiting Programme.
Analysis of the Maldives Police Service Strategic Plan 2007-2011
The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has recently completed the period of their first Strategic Plan for 2007-2011. The main question that arises is: did having the plan actually change the way police went about their business? Did it make a systemic change in the service itself, or contribute in any way to streamline it to fit a more democratic principle?
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and its partner in Male, Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) created a survey to find out the answers to some of these questions. The survey is conducted to two main groups, the police and their community. The survey has been translated to Dhivehi by MDN, and will be administered by end -May through its network of HRD’s spread across 10 islands in the Maldives. The completed surveys will then be re-translated to English and will be published in a short document or report by CHRI, which the workshop (of around 30-35 participants) will be centered around.
A workshop will be conducted around the findings of the survey, and to examine the advantage of police strategic planning in general. This will be done with the help of the Human rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM). The workshop is tentatively scheduled for September 2011 at the auditorium of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives in Male’.
More updates as and when available…
Our Rights and the Role of Police in a Democratic Society- No.3
After successfully completing two in a series of workshops entitled “Our Rights and the Role of Police in a Democratic Society” CHRI, Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust (BLAST) and Nagorrik Uddyog (NU) are holding a third in the series, this time in District Khulna in Bangladesh. The workshop is scheduled for July/August 2011. More details coming soon.
For more information on the last workshop, click here