News: TANBAZAR ALERT NO. 2

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Subject: News: TANBAZAR ALERT NO. 2
From: A. Jordan (annj@hrlawgroup.org)
Date: Thu Sep 02 1999 - 18:48:00 EDT


Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
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## author : partha@drik.net
## date : 30.07.99
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HUMAN RIGHTS ALERT ! Follow Up

TANBAZAR ALERT NO. 2
10 Sraban 1406 / 25 July 1999
Pre-Dawn Eviction on 24th July 1999
Naripokkho

Yesterday morning the sex workers of Tanbazar and Nimtoli
were evicted in a pre-dawn raid by police and officials from
the Department of Social Services. Several hundred were
taken away to government vagrant homes. During the eviction
on Saturday morning the area was cordoned off for several
hours. Initially, the women were reassured that only those
who had opted for "rehabilitation" would be sent to the
vagrant homes. However, even those who had not wanted to be
rehabilitated were forced out and bused away.

Although authorities as quoted in the papers say that about
250 sex workers were removed, eyewitnesses report that at
least four hundred women were forcibly taken away. The rest
fled into hiding. Once inside the buildings, the police beat
the women indiscriminately and dragged them into the waiting
buses. Journalists who have visited the now deserted
buildings report having seen signs of panic and flight.

In the panic mothers were separated from their children. As
of today one mother has still not been able to trace her
child. Relatives of the sex workers have not been told where
they have been taken. The injured were not given any medical
attention. Those who fled were forced to leave their
belongings behind. Many who returned later to gather their
possessions were forced into buses or trucks and taken to
vagrant homes. Those who were able to enter the buildings
found that nothing remained of their possessions -
everything had been taken away.

One of the leaders of the sex workers, Sathi, was beaten
almost unconcious and dragged into a police truck. Although
it was reported that she was in police remand, the
Narayanganj Police Station denied all knowledge of her
whereabouts. They initially denied all knowledge of the
eviction but later acknowledged that they had cooperated
with the Department of Social Service staff , as reported in
several papers.

It has been reported that the sex workers were severely
beaten up by the police and employees of the Department of
Social Services after being removed to the vagrant homes.

We urge all concerned groups, individuals, and organisations
to protest against this eviction.

Naripokkho, Bangladesh Women's Health Coalition (BWHC), CARE
Bangladesh,Hotline Bangladesh, Nari Maitree, Bangladesh
Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights, Bangladesh
Human Rights Journalists Forum, Coordinating Council for
Human Rights in Bangladesh, Women for Women, Utsho
Bangladesh, Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangstha, Ain-o-Salish
Kendra, Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, Bangladesh
Association of Women for Self Empowerment (BAWSE), Coalition
for the Urban Poor (CUP), Legal Awareness Forum, Phulki,
Ulka (association of evicted sex workers of Kandupatti
brothel), Durjoy (association of floating sex workers of
Dhaka), Mukti Nari Sangha (association of sex workers from a
brothel in Tangail), Odhikaar, Bibartan, Gonoshasthaya
Kendra, Badda Self Help Centre, Steps Towards Development,
Nari Uddug Kendra, Theatre Centre, Prodipan, SARPV,
Association for Social Advancement, Centre for
Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, Concerned Women for Family
Planning, Massline Media Centre, National Forum of
Organisation Working With the Disabled, Uddipan, Breaking
the Silence, Institute of Democratic Rights, Action Aid,
Assistance for Slum Dwellers, Prottoy, Thengamara Mohila
Shabuj Shangha, STD/AIDS Network, Voluntary Health Services
Society, Proshika, Shoishob Bangladesh, Shaptadinga, Rural
Health and Development Society, Organisation for Mothers &
Infants, SSUK,Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha, Dustha
Shasthya Kendra.

Naripokkho E-mail :convenor@naripkho.pradeshta.net


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