Human Rights Watch has urged the international community to press the government of Bangladesh to create conditions conducive to a free and fair national election slated for December 30.
“The United Nations, European Union, United States, India, China, and others should press the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed to create conditions conducive to a free and fair vote and to prevent campaign violence,” the rights body said in a release today.
It alleged, “The security forces in Bangladesh have been arresting and intimidating opposition figures and threatening freedom of expression ahead of the election”.
In a research from October to early December, HRW found repeated instances of arbitrary arrest and detention of protesters and political opposition figures by the security forces, and acts of violence and intimidation by members of the ruling party’s student and youth wings, according to the release.
“The crackdown, and the broad and vaguely worded laws that facilitate it, are contributing to an environment of fear. Institutions including the judiciary and the national election commission do not appear to be fully prepared to independently and fairly resolve disputes around campaigns and elections, such as on registration, candidacies, and results,” the HRW claimed.