* Hasina re-calls Rana Plaza victims:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has commemorated all the deceased workers in worldwide including the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy and paid her deep sympathy to the bereaved families.
The premier was addressing a discussion at Osmani Auditorium as chief guest on the occasion of historic May Day on Thursday morning.
* PM’s relief fund to merge with Rana Plaza package:
Rana Plaza victims will receive compensation from retailers minus the amount they got from the prime minister’s relief fund, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar said yesterday.
For instance, as per ILO convention 121, a dead worker’s family was supposed to receive Tk 29 lakh as compensation. So, if they have already received Tk 10 lakh from the prime minister’s fund, they can expect to be given another Tk 19 lakh from the Rana Plaza Trust Fund.
“The victims thought they will receive money both from the prime minister’s fund and the Rana Plaza Trust fund, but that will not be the case. The two will supplement one another,” Shipar told The Daily Star.
A total of Tk 22.13 crore has been disbursed to the victims from the relief fund, according to data from the prime minister’s office.
So far, a total of $25 million has been collected in the ILO-managed trust fund against the required amount of $40 million to adequately compensate the Rana Plaza victims, according to Roy Ramesh Chandra, secretary of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the local chapter of IndustriALL Global Union that initiated the trust fund.
“Retailers have started contributing to the fund, and we have started giving out compensation from it.”
* Rana’s associate remanded in murder case:
A Dhaka court yesterday placed Abu Bakkar Siddique, a key associate of Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, on a two-day remand in a murder case filed in connection with the collapse of the faulty building in Savar on April 24 last year.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Sheuly Akhter passed the order after the investigation officer of the case, CID’s Assistant Superintendent Bijoy Krishna Khar, produced the accused before the court and sought five-day remand. Police arrested the accused from Savar Bazar area on secret information on Monday.
In the remand prayer, the IO said Siddique had been present at the Rana Plaza and forced the garment workers to work. The murder case was filed on April 25 last year, a day after the building had collapsed, with the Savar police station. At least 1,136 people mostly female workers died and over 2,500 others injured in the incident.
* First job for new Benetton CEO – Pay Up! :
Today in Treviso, home of the Benetton Group, Marco Airoldi will be confirmed the Benetton Group’s new CEO – a role that will see him lead one of Italy’s biggest companies and one of the world’s major clothing brands through a time of change.
But before the group can look to the future they must act to remedy the past. After a year of mixed messages from Benetton regarding their commitment to ensuring compensation for all survivors and the victim’s families, Mr. Airoldi must set the record straight.
As Mr. Airoldi begins his tenure Clean Clothes Campaign lays out the facts regarding Benetton and Rana Plaza and demand he make his first job paying into the Donor Trust Fund.
What they say : In September 2013, Benetton stated that they were committed to “playing a role in finding an industry-wide, multi- stakeholder approach to [compensation] – much like the Accord did for fire and safety”
* Since December 2013, amulti-stakeholder approach has been in place – The Arrangement. It has the full participation of the Government of Bangladesh, employers organisations, Bangladeshi and international trade unions and NGOs and major clothing brands and has the ILO as a neutral chair.
* 500 Rana Plaza victims listed in workers’ project:
Some 500 workers, who sustained injuries in Rana Plaza building collapse, have been included in the “Promotion of Social and Environmental Standards in the Industry” project.
Planning Commission sources said a revision is being made regarding the project to develop the skill of some 1,500 workers including that of 500 Rana Plaza victims.
Infrastructure of two institutions – Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) and Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) – will be developed under the project.
The development will open the door to provide medical service more to the workers who will become victims of accident and assistance for their rehabilitation.
* Adequate compensation sought for Rana Plaza victims:
Politicians and garment workers’ leaders on Sunday demanded exemplary punishment of the owners of Rana Plaza and other factories the collapsed building had housed.
Addressing a human chain in the city, Communist Party of Bangladesh adviser Manzurul Ahsan Khan said the government, garment factory owners and foreign buyers should raise the amount of compensation for the Rana Plaza victims and their families.
Activists of Rana Plaza Garment Sramik Union formed the human chain in front of the National Press Club in the morning to press for adequate compensation for the victims.
More than 1,100 people, most of them, female garment workers, were killed in the Rana Plaza collapse aat Savar a year ago.
Manzurul also demanded distribution of money from the prime minister’s fund raised for the Rana Plaza victims and compensations according to the International Labour Organisation law.
The owners of garment factories contributed a negligible amount to the fund, he said.
Bangladesh Trade Union Centre vice-president Mahbub Alam said that many of the Rana Plaza victims did not get sufficient compensations after even after the passage of one year.
* 3 cops closed on extortion charge in Khulna:
Three policemen, including a sub-inspector of Terokhada Police Station, were closed to the District Police Lines on Tuesday on charge of realising extortion from the family of a Rana Plaza victim.
Locals said Abdul Kuddus Mollah of Bhabanipur village received Tk 72,000 as compensation for the death of his sister Asma in the Rana Plaza collapse.
SI Milton of the Terokhada police along with two constables went to the house of Kuddus on May 10 and took him to a place one kilometre off the house.
Later, they beat Kuddus and demanded Tk 5 lakh as extortion, saying he received Tk 72 lakh as compensation.
They also threatened to put him in crossfire. The policemen freed Kuddus after his brother paid them Tk 19,200, according to UNB.
to read. & read more.
* Traumatised rescuers struggle with life:
When the nine-storey Rana Plaza crumbled last year, trapping over 2,000 people under the debris, several hundred untrained civilians volunteered in the rescue mission. And their service to humanity cost them dearly–dozens got mentally scarred at the horror that unfolded for 20 days.
Many rescuers became so traumatised and physically ailed that they are yet to get back to their profession. Consequently, the loss of their source of income coupled with the expenses of lengthy treatment has left them financially broke.
“I know more than 20 rescuers who are living in inhuman conditions after failing to return to their professions due to physical ailments and trauma,” said Abdur Rahman, one of about 100 civilian rescuers who gathered at the Rana Plaza site in Savar on Wednesday to mark one of year of the end to the rescue operation.
Housing five garment factories and some other offices and a market, Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 last year, leaving more than 1,100 killed and hundreds wounded or maimed.
A 20-day rescue operation followed under the leadership of Bangladesh Army.
Two rescuers, Md Kaykobad and Md Omor Faruque Babu, died while the rescue mission was going on.
Within half a month after the mission ended on May 14 last year, Md Rafiqul Islam, 35, a mason, was admitted to the National Institute of Mental Health in Dhaka.
“The doctor asked me to stay in the hospital for more days, but there was none to look after my family back home. So I went back,” he told The Daily Star.
“My 19-year-old eldest daughter is the only bread earner in my six-member family now.”
* Compensation, justice sought:
Several hundred victims of Rana Plaza rallied at its collapse site in Savar of Dhaka yesterday demanding adequate compensation and justice.
Under the banner of “Rana Plaza Garments Workers Union”, they were observing the union’s first founding anniversary.
The injured and the families of the deceased have been in severe distress since the disaster, they said, adding that the persons behind the collapse must be punished.
They alleged that the government was procrastinating to try the culprits to save them.
Housing five garment factories and some other offices and a market, the nine-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 last year, killing more than 1,100 and injuring hundreds.
* Charge-sheet after all accused held:
The submission of charge-sheet in two much-talked-about cases on Rana Plaza building collapse would not be possible till all accused of the case are taken to custody, said the official concerned.
“The investigation is at last phase, some 22 accused in the cease have been arrested and efforts are on to nab the other accused,” said Criminal Investigation Department (CID) assistant commissioner Krisna Kar, also the investigation officer (IO) of the cases.
Krisna said, “Drives are being carried out time to time, but submission of charge-sheets is being delayed as all accused have not been arrested yet.”
Wednesday was the day to submit the charge-sheets in the cases.
When asked on the charge sheet may be submitted showing the accused fugitive, the CID officer said, “It can be done, but there is no alternative except arresting the accused for immediate disposal of the cases.”
“More time requires for a case disposal if charge-sheet is submitted showing the accused fugitive,” added Krisna.
* DNA sampling not enough:
Identifying Rana Plaza, Tazreen dead
Along with DNA sampling, the authorities should use other methods like conducting investigation through interviewing relatives and neighbours to identify the bodies of the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire victims, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
The DNA profiling lab will not be able to identify the bodies of the victims, as the collection of the samples following the two industrial disasters was not appropriate, they said.
Hameeda Hossain, convener of Sramik Nirapotta Forum, urged the authorities concerned to conduct the investigation using the local government bodies and representatives to identify dead workers’ families and compensate them.
“DNA lab could have identified all bodies if DNA samples had been taken from all victims of Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen fire,” said Prof Sharif Akhtaruzzaman, chief of National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL) of Dhaka Medical College.
The roundtable titled “No Grave to Grieve: The Search for Missing Garment Workers and the Challenges of DNA Technology in Bangladesh” was organised by a group of researchers under the banner of Activist Anthropologist at The Daily Star Centre in the capital.
read more. & read more.
* Over 200 workers missing in 9yrs:
STUDY ON RMG FACTORY ACCIDENTS
At least 200 apparel workers remained missing in different factory accidents that took place between 2005 and 2013.
The Activist Anthropologist, a group of researchers working since the 2012 fire in Tazreen Fashions, came up with the findings on Thursday at a roundtable titled ‘No grave to grieve: the search for missing garment workers and the challenges of DNA technology in Bangladesh.’
Saydia Gulrukkh, a member of the group, presented the keynote paper, based on news clippings and field surveys, at the roundtable at the Daily Star Centre in Dhaka.
The group assessed that more than 200 apparel workers had been missing in building collapses and fire incidents since April 2005, when the nine-storey Spectrum Sweater factory building collapsed.
The researchers considered the Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013 as the last incident in the study.
The government, however, has denied apparel workers remaining missing in the incidents, study observed.
Saydia in the paper said that there was no specific authority with which families could lodge complaints of workers going missing.
Helpless families of workers who went missing visited different government and private authorities dealing with the apparel sector but they failed to trace their relatives, she said.
The government introduced DNA profiling to identify the bodies disfigured beyond recognition after the Tazreen fire in 2012.
* Victim families continue to demand justice:
Family members of the victims in Rana Plaza building collapse yesterday held a rally at the site in Savar on the outskirts of the capital, demanding proper compensation and justice.
At the rally under the banner of “Bangladesh Garment Workers Solidarity”, they said they had been leading a very inhuman life after losing their only earning members, but were yet to be compensated.
Taslima Akter, coordinator of the organisation, said though DNA profiles of Liza, Samapti, Sahedul, Zahangir and some others had matched with their respective family members, the families were yet to identify the graves of their dear ones.
Terming the building collapse a planned killing, she demanded punishment for the people responsible for the incident.
Survivors of the worst-ever industrial disaster also spoke.
Multi-storey Rana Plaza building, which housed five garment factories, caved in on April 24, 2013, leaving over 1,100 workers dead and several hundred injured.
* Apparel labour groups mark 13 months of Rana Plaza disaster:
Apparel labour leaders at separate programmes on Saturday called on the Awami League-led government to take steps for adequate compensations for Rana Plaza victims.
Labour rights groups held the programmes at Savar and in the capital marking 13 months of the Rana Plaza disaster in which more than 1,100 people, mostly apparel workers, were killed as the eight-storey building collapsed.
Bangladesh Garment Sramik Sanghati held a rally in front of the Rana Plaza at Savar bus stand where the organsation’s convener Taslima Akhter and leaders Dipak Roy, Mehedi Hasan and others spoke.
A procession followed the rally.
National Garment Workers Federation leaders, in another incident, formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club at 11:00am demanding adequate compensations for the Rana Plaza victims.
The organisation’s president Amirul Haque Amin presided over the programme. Apparel labour leaders Quamrul Ahsan, Salauddin Shawpan and Nurun Nahar also spoke..
A procession followed the human chain.
* Compensation disbursement getting delayed:
The process of disbursing compensation to the Rana Plaza victims has slowed mainly due to non-cooperation by retailers and brands, said a senior official of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council.
The International Labour Organisation gave away $1.8 million among 2,929 workers or their families on April 22, on the eve of the first anniversary of the tragedy, from its trust fund.
But, later no new brands deposited money to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, which has collected $17 million so far against a target of $40 million, according to Roy Ramesh, general secretary to the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council.
Though 29 retailers had promised to contribute to the fund, only nine showed up so far, he said.
IndustriALL Global Union, a federation of global trade unions, initiated the compensation package last year involving the ILO.
“We could not disburse money to around 130 victims due to problems in their documents. They will be compensated after verification,” Ramesh said.
Of the total 3,639 victims, British retailer Primark gave compensation to 580 workers of New Wave Bottoms Ltd, a factory on the second floor of the ill-fated building from where the retailer used to source garment items.
* Slow compensation process outshines good things: Dutch Minister:
The slow progress in disbursing compensation to Rana Plaza victims due to fund shortage ‘overshadows’ all the ‘good things’ happening in Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry, says a visiting Dutch Minister here on Tuesday.
“In the coming weeks we’ll make an analysis on what situation exactly is…so, you’ll see some actions in coming weeks or months,” Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen told reporters at a press conference.
She said they would interact with stakeholders and meet her European Union (EU) colleagues to see what they can do jointly to reach out to the companies that have not or sufficiently pledged fund and encourage them to do so.
read more.& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Human bones, skull found in Rana Plaza site:
Police on Friday recovered some human bones and a skull from the site of Rana Plaza at Savar, on the outskirts of the capital.
Some street urchins found the human remains while playing at the site at about 11:30am.
Later, local people took the human remains from them and informed police.
On information, police rushed in and took the bones and the skull to the police station.
Human bones had been recovered from the collapse site earlier too.
* Auchan faces probe over Bangladesh garment factory collapse:
French prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a preliminary probe into supermarket giant Auchan over complaints it misled consumers over social conditions at its clothes manufacturers in the wake of last year’s deadly Bangladesh factory disaster.
The prosecutor’s office in the northern city of Lille confirmed that following a complaint by three lobby groups, it had opened a preliminary probe over misleading advertising in the context of the disaster which killed over 1,000 people.
Auchan says it had never placed any orders at the Rana Plaza garment factory which collapsed on April 24 last year after a catastrophic structural failure.
But three lobby groups last month accused Auchan in a complaint of misleading customers about working conditions overseas and claim that an investigation found labels from the chain’s “In Extenso” range in the rubble.
Sherpa, a non profit organisation for the “victims of economic crimes.” Peuples Solidaires (People’s Solidarity), and the Ethique sur l’etiquette (Ethics on Labels) collective, claim a number of witnesses, including some in Bangladesh, are available to provide evidence.
* Justice for Rana Plaza survivors:
Pay full and fair compensation to the 2,500 workers injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse and to the families of the 1,138 deceased. In order to prevent future deaths in your Bangladesh supply chain, join 175+ companies in the legally-binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety.
Why is this important?
My name is Aklima Khanam. I’m 20 years old. I started working in a garment factory when I was 14 years old. My dad was ill and couldn’t work and my mom had to take care of my four siblings.
I started working at New Wave Style at Rana Plaza on January 3, 2013. We made clothes for Walmart and Children’s Place. Managers would say “This is for Walmart, you need to make it beautiful.”
If I spent too long in the bathroom, they would pull my hair, kick me off the stool, call me “whore” or say “your parents are children of pigs” or many other kinds of abusive language.
They would give me a ton of work and if there was one or two mistakes, they would do this. All I made was about $125 a month.
My normal workday was from 8am to midnight. Sometimes they kept us there til 2am or 3am. I worked 7 days a week. The whole time January 3rd to April 24th, I was never given a single day off.
read more and please sign the petition.
* Walmart: Pay Up to Families of Workers Killed at Rana Plaza:
Video message from Kalpona Akter to Walmart.
see video here.
* Walmart: End Deathtraps and Pay Compensation to Victims:
how to take action at a walmart store:
read more and please sign here.
* Rana Plaza victims want compensation:
Crude bomb goes off near their human chain in Savar
The victims of Rana Plaza formed a human chain at the collapse site in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, yesterday morning to press home their six-point demand, including compensation for them according to the ILO convention.
Meanwhile, half-an-hour after the programme started an unidentified boy, aged around 13, exploded a crude bomb around 200 yards away from the programme venue and, later, fled the scene, said a witness.
Mostafa Kamal, officer-in-charge of Savar Model Police Station, said the reason behind the explosion could not be ascertained immediately.
However, the participants continued their human chain and placed the demands, including workplace security at all the readymade garment factories, a stop to termination of RMG workers and full implementation of the newly introduced wage board.
Under the banner of “Rana Plaza Garment Workers Trade Union Kendra”, the speakers alleged that neither the government nor the BGMEA was taking heed of their compensation.
* Rana Plaza victims block highway for compensation:
The organisation also formed a human chain at the Rana Plaza collapse site, where they made their demands
Garments Workers’ Trade Union staged a demonstration in Savar yesterday to press home their six-point demands to ensure the safety of garment workers at workplaces and the implementation of International Labour Law Convention.
The organisation also formed a human chain at the Rana Plaza collapse site, where they made their demands.
Later, the workers of readymade garments factories put up a barricade on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway.
Apart from the organisation’s leaders and activists, relatives and family members of the Rana Plaza collapse victims took part in the agitation programme.
Speakers at the human chain said although it has been over one year since the Rana Plaza collapse, victims of the incident have yet to receive the compensation which they deserved to get.
A worker said they had only received assurances of compensation, but have not been compensated in more than a year since the tragedy.
* Rana plaza victim claims rape:
A victim, who had survived the deadliest factory disaster of Rana Plaza collapse, has allegedly been raped in Savar bank town area on Thursday.
Police has arrested the rapist Shahabuddin and sent him to the court in this connection.
The victim was sent to One Stop Crisis Center of Dhaka Medical College for medical examination on Sunday.
The girl worked at New Wave Bottom Factory of Rana Plaza.
Savar model police station Officer-in-Charge (Investigation) Dipak Kumar Shah said: “Shahabuddin called the girl over by phone on June 5 saying that he would provide financial assistance to the victims of Rana Plaza. The girl went to Savar bank town area around 4pm where she was raped by Shahabuddin.”
He said: “Hearing her hue and cry, locals rescued the girl and informed the police.”
Victim’s mother has filed a case in this regard, said the OC.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
* 13 Months After Rana Plaza:
The 24th of May 2014 marked 13 months since the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed 1138 garment workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
News of the disaster, which was the largest industrial accident in recent history, spread quickly around the world.
Many consumers were shocked that the workers were making clothes destined for the European and US high street market. Despite the scale of this accident, widespread press coverage and a global campaign, many of the brands that were sourcing garments from Rana Plaza have not paid compensation to the victims and their families.
Many families and injured survivors are still uncompensated and in dire circumstances.
To mark the 13 month anniversary of the collapse, families of victims together with injured workers and survivors gathered to protest the lack of proper compensation. Since the collapse, the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) has been supporting families and victims in their struggle for compensation and accountability. NGWF joined the protesters on the 24th of May to form a human chain outside the National Press Club in Dhaka, demanding immediate action from those involved in the accident.
* ACC nods Rana Plaza case sans Rana:
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) gave approval to file lawsuits against 17 people except Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, for not following the building codes while constructing Rana Plaza.
Parents of Rana also are included in the accused list.
The approval came from a regular meeting of ACC at the commission on Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Director (Public Relations) of ACC Rajab Kumar Bhattacharya confirmed the matter to banglanews.
ACC sources said no cases would be filed against Sohel Rana as his name was not found on any documents related to the construction of Rana plaza.
On April 24, 2013, over 1,130 people died as the 8-storey Rana Plaza collapsed.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* ACC needs to dig deeper into Rana Plaza case:
The approval by the Anti-Corruption Commission of the case to be filed this week with the Savar police against 17 people over their alleged involvement in irregularities in the construction of Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24, 2013 leaving at least 1,138 dead and two thousand more injured, mostly permanently, has raised questions.
It has done so because, according to a New Age report on Friday, the 17 people accused do not include Sohel Rana, one of the key suspects in the incident although his parents, the architect of the building, the local municipal mayor and some other officials, and the owners of the apparel factories housed in the building were included.
It is widely known that Sohel Rana was a local leader of the youth front of the ruling Awami League. Moreover, he was well connected to the then local lawmaker, also belonging to the ruling party.
And it was his political influence that largely gave indulgence to local municipality authorities in giving permission for the illegal extension of the building to 01 stories. More importantly, everything — having the architect design the building, the approval of the building’s plan and the construction of the building — was reportedly done under his direct supervision.
The management of the building also reportedly lay with him.
Without the political clout Rana enjoyed, it was hardly possible for one to use the building designed as a shopping mall for industrial purposes, something that, according to experts, significantly contributed to the collapse of the building.
* ACC sues 17 for Rana Plaza construction irregularity:
ACC deputy director SM Mofidul Islam files the case
The Anti-Corruption Commission has filed a case against 17 people including parents of Sohel Rana for their alleged involvement with construction irregularities in building the nine-storey Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24 last year.
ACC deputy director SM Mofidul Islam filed the case with Savar police station on Sunday afternoon.
The ACC, however, did not included the name of Sohel Rana with the case as the building was owned by his father and the name of Sohel Rana was not found in any of the documented evidences, an ACC official said.
The accused in the case include Savar municipality mayor Refayet Ullah, Rana’s father Abdul Khalek and mother Morjina Begum, the architect of the building and associate professor of the architecture discipline department of Khulna University ATM Masud Reza, Savar municipality ward 7 councilor Mohammad Ali Khan, and three garment unit owners – Phantom Apparels Ltd Chairman Mohammad Aminul Islam, New Wave Bottom Limited Managing Director Bazlus Samad and Ether Tex Limited Chairman Azizur Rahman.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
* Case lodged over Bangladesh building collapse:
Anti-graft commission accuses 17 people of violations over the 2013 garment factory collapse that killed 1,130 people.
Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a case with local police accusing 17 people of breaching regulations over the construction of a building that collapsed last year, killing nearly 1,130 mostly garment workers, officials have said.
The April 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza, built on swampy ground outside Dhaka, ranks among the world’s worst industrial accidents and sparked a global outcry for improved safety standards in the world’s second-largest exporter of ready-made garments.
“Our investigation found, they grossly breached the building code,” commission spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattachajee said on Sunday.
The accused include the parents of Mohammad Sohel Rana – the individual previously cited as the owner of Rana Plaza – as well as a local mayor, engineers and three owners of garment factories that used the building, the ACC officials said.
They do not include Rana himself, who was arrested after a four-day hunt shortly after the building collapsed, apparently trying to flee across the border to India.
* Rana not prosecuted as he’s not owner of Rana Plaza on paper:
Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has not prosecuted Sohel Rana, the owner of ‘Rana Plaza’, in the case filed by the graft watchdog over irregularities in construction of the infamous multi-storey building that collapsed at Savar killing more than 1100 people last year.
Sources at the ACC said, SM Mafidul Islam, Deputy Director of the commission, filed a case with Savar Model Police Station on Sunday afternoon. When contacted, the Officer-in-Charge of Savar Model Police Station said Rana had been exonerated as his name did not figure in any of the property documents.
In the case, 17 persons, including Rana’s late mother, have been made accused. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Savar Shafiqul Islam said the ACC will investigate the case. ACC decided to probe Rana’s assets four days after the building had collapsed on April 24, 2013.
The investigation revealed that Rana had been doing his financial transactions through 23 accounts that he had in different banks. RAB arrested Rana from Benapole 4 days into the 9-storey Rana Plaza disaster, according to a news agency.
* Rana to be named in case: ACC:
Sohel Rana, son of Rana Plaza owners, will be included in the charge sheet as one of the main accused in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission, for his alleged involvement in tampering with the construction of the collapsed building.
The commission investigation found two witnesses who confirmed that Rana actually controlled the construction of the building while his parents were nominal owners of the building, an ACC director told New Age on Sunday.
He said the commission also asked the investigator to submit the charge sheet to the commission, within this week, after including Rana’s name.
The ACC on June 15 filed a case against 17 people in total, including Rana Plaza owners Abdul Khalek and Morjina Begum, parents of Sohel Rana, and Savar municipality mayor Refayet Ullah, with Savar model police station.
At the time, the ACC said it would include Rana’s name in the charge sheet if witnesses confirmed his involvement with the construction.
* Compensating the victims of Rana Plaza – what role for the OECD?:
OECD Watch and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) have just released a new publication that outlines what the OECD and national contact points need to do in order to ensure the much needed USD40 million is raised for the victims and survivors of the Rana Plaza building collapse.
Ineke Zeldenrust from Clean Clothes Campaign will be joined on the panel by Dan Rees from the International Labour Organisation and Ben Vanpeperstraete from UNI Global Union.
The new publication calls on states through the national contact points (NCPs) to provide access to effective remedy.
TUAC and OECD Watch want the NCPs to make a collective commitment in their Statement ‘One Year After Rana Plaza”, in line with their responsibilities under the proactive agenda, to work with brands linked to Rana Plaza, as well as brands with significant ties to Bangladesh, to resolve the funding crisis. In addition they want NCPs to:
* UK government tells retailers to pay up in Rana Plaza compensation battle:
International development minister says he is writing to companies who have not yet contributed
The government is weighing into the battle for compensation for victims of last year’s Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh with a letter warning British retailers including Matalan to pay up.
The cut-price clothing chain, based in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, has admitted that its clothes had been produced on the second floor of the factory building, where over 1,100 people died, but has refused to pay into a compensation fund backed by the International Labour Organisation.
The company says it was not using Rana Plaza when the building collapsed and has insisted that it has already helped victims with a donation to a charity support programme to mothers involved in the disaster.
* OECD meets in Paris with Rana Plaza on the agenda:
Over a year after the collapse of Rana Plaza the compensation fund remains woefully underfunded.
Today sees the start of a two day high level international meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris that will discuss efforts to build more responsible supply chains.
Ahead of the meeting of Ministers from across the world UK Minister for International Development, Alan Duncan MP, has written personally to a number of UK based brands who were associated with Rana Plaza calling on them to make significant contributions to the ILO backed Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund.
In an interview in today’s Guardian, Mr Duncan says “”We have to raise the pressure over a year after the event to make sure a complete compensation package is assembled.” He added that retailers could not claim that they weren’t aware of where their clothes were produced because production had been sub-contracted by their suppliers.”
* Governments call on brands to pay up:
Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes leadership shown by governments in strongly urging clothing brands to pay into the Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund.
The following statement is in response to the final statement on compensation Rana Plaza victims that you can read here.
Clean Clothes Campaign welcomes today’s statement from the governments of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain calling on companies to immediately “donate generously to the [Rana Plaza Donor] Trust Fund.”
“These governments have taken political responsibility where companies have failed to act, which is a significant step in getting compensation for all victims” says Ineke Zeldenrust, of Clean Clothes Campaign, “it is not acceptable that 428 days since the collapse of Rana Plaza the Donor Trust Fund is still lacking US$23 million. Brands can no longer look for excuses, they must pay up.”
The statement is released as Ministers from around the world meet in Paris, alongside the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and representatives of trade unions and NGOs, at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct.
The ILO and UNI Global Union, alongside Clean Clothes Campaign, have expressed deep concern that the fund is still running short of the much needed funds, and whilst the Forum looks at ways to improve responsible business in the future the governmental statement highlights the fact that “the lack of compensation for the victims weaken[s] the improvements realized up to now in Bangladesh.”
“The combined profits of the 29 brands that have been directly linked to Rana Plaza is well in excess of US$22 billion a year,” adds Ms. Zeldenrust, “they are being asked to contribute less that 0.2% of these profits to go some way towards compensating the people their profits are built on.”
read more. & read more.
* CID asked to submit Rana Plaza probe Aug 13:
A Dhaka court has ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit the probe report on Rana Plaza collapse on August 13.
Dhaka Senior Judicial Magistrate Washim Sheikh passed the order as the CID failed to submit the report on Monday morning.
Earlier, the court had fixed June 30 for submitting the report. But, Investigation Officer Bijoy Krishna Kar, an assistant superintendent of police of CID, failed to meet the deadline.
Two cases were filed with Savar police station following the collapse of Rana Plaza.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) filed a case against the building owner for the structural fault found at the building and constructing the structure using substandard materials and violating building code.
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* Seven European countries urge retailers to contribute to Rana Plaza fund:
The governments of seven European countries have asked retailers to immediately put in their contributions to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund as the victims are yet to receive adequate compensation more than one year after the deadly industrial disaster.
The message came in a joint statement from the governments of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain, read out by Liliane Ploumen, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris last week.
“We recommend that companies that sourced in Rana Plaza contribute to the established trust fund… immediately, and we invite all companies irrespective of whether they have any sourcing links to Rana Plaza to also contribute,” she told the OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct on June 26.
“Finally, we also urge the government of Bangladesh and the BGMEA to increase their contribution and ensure their public accountability.”
The trust fund needs $40 million to fully compensate the victims, but has only received $17 million so far, nearly half of which has been given by one company alone, British retailer Primark, the statement said.
Of the $17 million, $4 million has already been disbursed to the victims, according to Roy Ramesh Chandra, secretary general of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council, the local chapter of IndustriALL, the global union federation which was instrumental in drafting in the trust fund.
* OECD ministers urge clothing chains to contribute to Rana Plaza trust fund:
OECD ministers have called upon international textile firms to contribute to the compensation fund for victims of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh.
They also pledged to be engage with clothing chains in their own countries and urge them to contribute to the fund, said a statement adopted in Paris and signed by ministers from a number of major European countries.
The joint statement by the ministers of Foreign Trade of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom was posted on the website of the government of the Netherlands on Monday.
* Rana Plaza victim fighting cancer:
But their dream of living a decent life was shattered on April 24, 2013 when the Rana Plaza collapsed
Once the eleven-year-old garment worker Anna managed to escape death from the debris of Rana Plaza but it has always stalked her like a shadow.
When a girl of her age usually goes to school she with her two-year older sister, she came to Dhaka to help their six-member family. They joined a garment factory located on the sixth floor of the ill-fated Rana Plaza.
But their dream of living a decent life was shattered on April 24, 2013 when the Rana Plaza collapsed.
Like any other day the two sisters went to the factory in the morning. Her elder sister Banya managed to escape unscathed but a large beam came crashing down on Anna’s right hand. She was pinned to the ground unable to budge even an inch.
She had remained like that for two days before rescuers pulled her out of the rubble by severing her right hand. After that she returned to her village home Komarpara of Narkili under Jamalpur with her sister Banya.
Banya got admitted into Class V in a school in the village. Anna too was spending her time playing with her toys and girls of her age. She even forgot that she lost one of her arms. But little did she know what was befalling her next.
One day she fell to the ground while playing and she received injury on her right knee. She had been on medicine for two months under a doctor in Jamalpur town but in vain. She was then taken to Dhaka on June 11 by the advice of her doctor.
* BGMEA list set to put missing at 160:
The apparel makers’ body BGMEA may finalise the list of 160 readymade garment (RMG) workers, who still remained missing after the Rana Plaza tragedy at Savar in Dhaka in April last year.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) took the move a year after the collapse of the Rana Plaza on Apr 24 last year, killing at least 1,131 garment workers and maiming many others.
The BGMEA move came in the face of pressure from both local and international organisations, as in the absence of a list of the victims their families were not getting any help from the authorities despite their frantic efforts.
The apparel factory owners pledged adequate compensation for family members of those killed in the Rana Plaza collapse.
At the seventh annual general meeting held in April last the apparel makers’ body formed a 12-member committee to prepare the list of missing workers, sources said.
The committee, headed by BGMEA vice president SM Mannan Kochi, also comprises government officials.
There were 347 workers claimed to be remaining missing initially. Of them, 177 were identified through DNA tests.
* ACC finally implicates Rana in Rana Plaza case:
The Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday approved a charge sheet into the Rana Plaza construction case including the name of building owner, Sohel Rana, an ACC official said.
ACC commissioner M Shahabuddin told New Age the graft-watch body will appeal to the court to show Sohel Rana arrested in the case.
Investigation officer of the case SM Mofidul Islam will submit the charge sheet before a special court in Dhaka within a day or two, the commissioner said.
The commission on June 15 filed a case against 17 people, including Rana’s parents Abdul Khalek and Morjina Begum, whose names were mentioned in the documents of ownership, and Savar municipality mayor Refayet Ullah, with Savar model police station.
ACC said it included Rana’s name in the charge sheet as one of the main accused, for his alleged involvement in tampering with the construction of the collapsed building.
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* TUC calls on retailers to answer to MPs over Rana Plaza compensation:
The TUC is calling on all UK retailers which source clothing from Bangladesh to attend a meeting in Westminster today (Tuesday) where they will be asked what they are doing to support the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, that killed over 1,100 people in April last year.
The meeting has been called by Alison McGovern MP, shadow minister for international development and vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability. It is being supported by the TUC and campaign organisation Labour Behind the Label.
It is six months since the International Labour Organisation-administered Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund was established to support the victims and their families. But the Fund is still £13m short of its target amount because many retailers who sell clothes made in Bangladesh on the UK high street have yet to contribute, says the TUC.
Commenting on the meeting TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is shocking that more than 2,000 workers injured in the tragedy along with the families who lost relatives last year still have not been paid all the compensation they are owed.
“This money is urgently needed to provide medical support and income to the victims. All companies which are making money from clothes made in Bangladesh have an ethical obligation to donate to the Fund – not just those who were sourcing goods produced at Rana Plaza.”
* Sohel Rana included in charge-sheet of ACC finally:
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has finally included in the charge-sheet Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza in Savar, which collapsed on April 25 in 2013, killing 1,129 people.
He has been included in the list of the accused for constructing the building with faulty design.
The Commission approved on Tuesday the charge-sheet against 18 people including Sohel Rana who was not earlier included in the accused list while the anti-graft body decided to file a case against them.
Different organisations and rights activists blasted the ACC for not including Sohel Rana in the accused list.
The charge sheet was approved at a regular meeting of the Commission, ACC Commissioner M Shahabuddin Choppu told the reporters.
He said the ACC decided to include Sohel Rana in the accused list as the Commission found him guilty later. “We decided to include him as we found him guilty,” he said.
* Rana finally charged in ACC case:
Finally the name of Sohel Rana, who was excluded in the case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission on the construction of Rana Plaza in violation of the building code, has been included in the charge sheet.
The ACC yesterday approved the charge sheet in the case filed on June 15 with Savar Police Station, saying the accused in league with each other had built Rana Plaza violating the Bangladesh National Building Code. The building collapsed last year, killing at least 1,135 people.
The case was lodged against Savar municipal mayor, Rana’s parents and 14 others.
“During the investigation, several FIR-named accused stated that Rana exercised influence in constructing the faulty building and setting up garment factories illegally in the shopping complex,” ACC Commissioner Shahabuddin said, explaining why Rana’s name was finally included in the charge sheet.
* ACC to implicate Sohel Rana as well:
Earlier, while approving the charges on June 12, the commission spared Rana, who is a Jubo League leader from Savar
The Anti-Corruption Commission has found evidence that Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana was also involved in the irregularities while constructing the faulty eight-storey commercial building that collapsed on April 24 last year.
The commission will soon file charges against 18 people including Rana’s father Abdul Khalek and mother Morjina Begum, officials said.
Earlier, while approving the charges on June 12, the commission spared Rana, who is a Jubo League leader from Savar.
The other accused in the case are Savar municipality Mayor Refayet Ullah, architect of the building and Khulna University teacher ATM Masud Reza and Savar municipality ward 7 councillor Mohammad Ali Khan. Owners of three garment units housed in the building – Phantom Apparels Ltd Chairman Mohammad Aminul Islam, New Wave Bottom Limited Managing Director Bazlus Samad and Ether Tex Limited Chairman Azizur Rahman, have also been named in the charges.
* ACC submits charge-sheet in Rana Plaza collapse case :
The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday submitted charge-sheet against 18 people, including Sohel Rana, in the Rana Plaza collapse case.
ACC deputy director M Mofidul Islam submitted the charge-sheet before a Dhaka court, ACC public relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told UNB.
The Commission on Tuesday approved the charge-sheet incorporating the name of Sohel Rana, the key accused of the deadly building collapse.
The accused named in the charge-sheet include Sohel Rana, his parents Abdul Khaleque and Marjina Begum. Savar Municipality mayor Refat Ullah, former chief executive officer of Savar Municipality Uttam Kumar Roy, its executive engineer Rafiqul Islam, commissioner Haji M Ali Khan (Ward 7, Savar), architect ATM Masud Reza, Engr Sajjad Hossain and former town planner of Savar Municipality Farjana Islam.
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* Bangladesh charges 18 over garment factory collapse:
Bangladesh’s anti-corruption agency filed charges on Wednesday against 18 people accused of breaching regulations over the construction of a building that collapsed last year killing more than 1,130 people.
The April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza, built on swampy ground outside Dhaka, ranks amongst the world’s worst industrial accidents and sparked a global outcry for improved safety. Most of the victims were garment workers.
The accused include the owner of the building, Mohammad Sohel Rana, and his parents, the local mayor, engineers and three owners of garment factories that used the building.
The Anti-Corruption Commission had previously not listed Rana as his name did not appear in documents covering ownership of the land and design approval, which instead listed his parents.
“The charge sheet has been filed against 18 people, including Rana after further investigation found his involvement,” commission spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattachajee told Reuters.
Of the accused, Bhattachajee said: “Investigation found that they grossly breached the building code.”
* Rana among 18 chargesheeted:
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) submitted Wednesday a charge sheet against 18 people including Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza in Savar, in the court.
ACC deputy director M Mofidul Islam submitted the charge sheet before the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, ACC public relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told reporters.
On Tuesday, the Commission approved the charge sheet against 18 people including Sohel Rana who was not earlier included in the accused list while the anti-graft body decided to file a case against them.
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* Samples did not match Rana Plaza victims:
DNA tests of Matuail remains
A DNA test of the samples found from 29 pieces of human limbs at the Matuail landfill in the capital did not match that of any Rana Plaza victim.
The human remains at the landfill were recovered on June 23 last year.
The national DNA profiling laboratory at Dhaka Medical College Hospital submitted the detailed findings of the test before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court on June 26 the same year and the samples were sent to the laboratory on September 15.
Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman, head of the laboratory, told the Dhaka Tribune that it was suspected that the recovered remains were those of Rana Plaza victims.
“But we did not find any matches,” he said.
The doctor, however, refused to disclose the specific number of DNA profiles found in the test.
Police, court and laboratory sources said among the 29 pieces, complete DNAs of two males and one female were found. The test also found mixed DNAs (both male and female) of five people.
* The day the Rana Plaza garment workers died:
New documentary tells the stories of those who survived the collapse of a clothing factory near Dhaka
To be continued.