Cherie Blair visits SC as Hasina's legal team expert | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 24, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 24, 2008

Cherie Blair visits SC as Hasina's legal team expert

Hopes for practice of HR principles


Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, seen coming out of the High Court with Barrister Ajmalul Hossain (on her right) yesterday. Cherie is in town to work with Sheikh Hasina's legal team.Photo: STAR

Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, yesterday said she hoped for the application of the human rights principles enshrined in Bangladesh's constitution.
A barrister, Cherie is currently in Dhaka as a consultant to detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's legal team.
She visited the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to observe the appeal proceedings of a graft case against Hasina.
The same day, Blair attended two press conferences, where she said that she wants to observe the judicial proceedings and the human rights situation in Bangladesh, which were her special areas of interest as a lawyer.
The press meets were held at the SC after the hearing and after her lunch with Foreign Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury at the state guesthouse Padma.
Cherie Blair arrived Dhaka on Tuesday on a three-day visit.
She was invited by British-Bangladeshi barrister Ajmalul Hossain and Bangladeshi lawyer Rafiqul Haque, Blair said adding that she was serving as a consultant to Hasina's legal team, led by Rafiqul.
“I was invited here to give an opinion on how laws here comply with international human rights laws and conventions,” she added.
Asked for her observation on human rights situation in Bangladesh, Blair observed that Bangladesh's constitution contains principles that comply with international human rights standards. “It is important to make sure that these principles are not just on paper but are in practice,” she added.
Blair said the judiciary is adequate to defuse the complaints about Hasina's trial. “I am sure judges in Bangladesh will uphold their own positions and duties to the rule of law,” she added.
Blair sidestepped questions on the state of emergency, terming them as 'political.' She, however, acknowledged that human rights are in conflict with state of emergencies.
"But Bangladesh and its people will decide how they tackle human rights, and come back to democracy. It's not my job,” she said.
Earlier in the morning at the SC, Blair observed the government appeal against the High Court verdict that cancelled the Tk 3 crore extortion case filed by businessman Azam J Chowdhury against Hasina.
“Cherie Blair was my colleague. She is visiting Bangladesh on my personal invitation. Politics has nothing to do with her visit,” barrister Azmalul Hossain said after the hearing.
Blair is due to leave tomorrow.

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