Factory owner barred from leaving Bangladesh

Featured South East Asia - May 21st, 2013

A court in Bangladeshi has barred the owner of a garment factory where more than 100 workers died in a fire last year from leaving the country.

The Dhaka High Court made the ruling in response to a petition seeking the arrest of Delwar Hossain, the owner of Tazreen Fashions Ltd., for his alleged role in the deaths of 111 workers after his factory burst into flames.

No criminal charges have been brought against Hossain, although a government inquiry into the fire accused him of “gross negligence” over working conditions in the building.

Sunday’s ruling comes as the country continues to mourn 1,127 garment workers killed in the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza outside Dhaka.

“The judges have ordered the law-enforcing agencies to bar Hossain from leaving the country and bring him to the High Court by May 30,” deputy attorney general Biswojit Roy told AFP.

“The court observed that he should be arrested just like the owners of garment factories based at Rana Plaza,” Roy added.

Activists claimed Hossain’s close ties with the powerful textile lobby had protected him from being detained. The Tazreen factory had been supplying clothing for global retail giants such as Walmart.