Bangladesh: Crackdown as Elections Loom
According to Human Rights Watch recent news article Bangladesh security forces have been arresting and intimidating opposition figures and threatening freedom of expression in advance of national elections on 30 December 2018.
A report published by Human Rights Watch focuses on the Secret Detentions and Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh.
Since 2013, law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh have illegally detained scores of
opposition activists and held them in secret without producing them before courts, as the
law requires. In most cases, those arrested remain in custody for weeks or months before
being formally arrested or released. Others however are killed in so-called armed
exchanges, and many remain “disappeared.”
Bangladesh law enforcement agencies have a long history of human rights violations. The
ruling Awami League party took office in January 2009 with the promise to end such
abuses. However, according to Odhikar, a Dhaka-based human rights organization,
Bangladesh law enforcement agencies have since disappeared over 320 people, including
suspected criminals, militants, and, more recently, opposition members. Of these, 50 were
later killed, and dozens remain disappeared. The rest were either released or formally
produced in court as recent arrests.