HRW protests 'crackdown' on opposition
International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch has urged the international community to mount pressure on Bangladesh authorities to end arbitrary arrests while allowing peaceful protest and full rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and movement.
“The ruling party keeps saying it welcomes dialogue with the opposition, but in light of the ongoing crackdowns, it is impossible to take that statement seriously,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“To resolve the current political deadlock, all parties have to make commitments to end political violence, while the international community needs to ramp up pressure for a political settlement that involves a credible election,” Adams said in a statement issued on January 9.
Arrests have continued even after the ruling Awami League party and its allies won the largely uncontested elections held on January, said a statement of the New York-based rights body issued on January 9, the New York-based rights body added.
“While in some cases the government has acted appropriately to stop violence by some opposition forces, this spate of arrests is part of a pattern of weakening critics, limiting dissent, and consolidating ruling party power,” said Adams.
“The Awami League claims that it is the leading democratic party in Bangladesh, but there is nothing democratic about this kind of widespread crackdown on critics,” said the Asian chief of the HRW.