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CC cameras in polling booths violate personal privacy: Information Minister

Information Minister Hasan Mahmood said that according to legal experts and experts, installing closed circuit (CC) cameras in secret polling booths to see who is voting for whom is a violation of people’s privacy. He said that the Election Commission has interfered with the fundamental rights of the citizens by doing that in the Gaibandha-5 by-election.

Hasan Mahmud said this during an exchange of views with journalists at the secretariat on Wednesday afternoon. This information was informed in a press release of the Ministry of Information. The information minister said, ‘Not my statement. People on social media and journalists and intellectuals in the media think – a secret room is a secret room. People will vote secretly; it is their right. He further said, “If it is seen who is voting for whom by installing a camera, then it will not be a secret anymore.” It is then shown to others. Then the lawyers say that it is an “infringement of privacy” or a violation of personal privacy. Earlier, Shamim Osman showed in front of the media whom he voted for in the mayoral election in Narayanganj. Because of this, the Election Commission also issued a notice to Shamim Osman. Referring to this incident, Hasan Mahmud said that the reason why the Election Commission had given notice earlier is; If the election commission itself sees it and shows it to others, then it is an infringement of privacy. The information minister said that there must be CC cameras in the polling stations. It must be there to see if there is any unwanted entry if there is any disturbance or not. If the Election Commission finds it helpful, there is no bar to stay. But if the camera is installed in the secret room, there is a chance to see who is voting where. Awami League Joint General Secretary Hasan Mahmud said that the officials who performed field duties in the election said that the election was fair. However, after seeing the pictures on the camera from hundreds of miles away, the officials of the Election Commission thought that there were other people inside the polling station. The minister said, “I have been voting for decades, but I have not voted in the EVM.” I also need to know how to vote in EVM. In the village, people ask, “How will I vote?” Then the agent of the candidate, the election officials who are there, try to explain and help to vote. The Election Commission has seen through the telescope. It is not known who is an agent, who is an official, and who is an outsider, and how identified those faces.

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