The Straits Times
Published on Sep 11, 2012

Bangladesh cancels licences of 6,000 charities


DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh has revoked licences for more than 6,000 charities over the last three years, an official said on Tuesday, in a policy that critics slammed as a government attempt to extend its powers.

Mr Masud Rana, spokesman for the social services department, said the licences for non-government organisations (NGOs) were withdrawn after charities were found to have collapsed or have changed their area of work.

"Most of these NGOs were sitting idle doing nothing or doing things other than they were permitted," Mr Rana said.

But the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) group said the closures were a deliberate move by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.