April 13, 2022
DHAKA – The High Court today said that Canadian government must ensure safety and security of a 19-year old Canadian girl – allegedly confined by her parents in Dhaka against her will – if she goes back to the country.
The Canadian national cannot be kept confined against her will as she is an adult and wants to go back to Canada, the HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman said during hearing a writ petition filed by rights organisations Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) seeking necessary directives.
The bench verbally asked the father of the girl to produce her before it tomorrow morning for hearing her statement.
During hearing today, officials from Canadian Embassy in Dhaka and lawyers for the petitioners and the girl’s parents were present in the courtroom.
Earlier on Sunday during hearing of the same petition, the HC bench observed that parents should not impose any decision on children against their will.
The parents should keep in mind that their children will look after them when they age, the HC bench said.
The writ petition was submitted by ASK and BLAST at the request of Canadian High Commission in Dhaka seeking necessary directives to release the girl and to allow her to go to Canada.
On Sunday the HC adjourned the hearing of the writ petition until today and said the girl will remain with the parents.
The court asked the parents of the girl to return her mobile phone, laptop and give her access to internet connection so that she can communicate with her friends.
Earlier on Sunday, the HC bench heard the statements of the Canadian girl in a closed door courtroom.
The girl, who studies in Toronto University in Canada, was produced before the HC bench by her parents and police personnel, led by Officer-in-Charge of Mugda Police Station, yesterday afternoon.
Petitioners’ lawyer ZI Khan Panna earlier told The Daily Star that the parents of the girl, who is a Canadian citizen by birth, are Bangladesh-born Canadian citizens.
They brought their daughter to Bangladesh to meet her grandparents.
The girl wanted to go back to Canada, but their parents are keeping her confined in the house and even they took away her cell phone, ZI Khan said.
He said the girl managed to contact the Canadian High Commission and a human rights organisation which requested the writ petitioners to move a petition before the HC for necessary directives