Bangladesh was classified as an "authoritarian regime" in a new report released by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, a Sweden-based intergovernmental organisation.
Since 2014, Bangladesh has consistently been ranked as an authoritarian regime. From 2008 till 2014, it was classified as a "weak democracy".
"More countries than ever are suffering from 'democratic erosion'," IDEA said in its 2021 study on the state of democracy, relying on data compiled since 1975.
The other years, apart from since 2014, that Bangladesh was classified as an authoritarian regime include the year 2007, the years 1975-78 and 1981-85.
The organisation made this classification based on 28 indicators across five broad topics, according to the report titled "Global State of Democracy Report 2021".
According to the indices, Bangladesh's lowest score was in the category of having an impartial administration. It also performed "low" in the categories of having a representative government, and having sufficient checks on the government. Bangladesh had mid-range performance in the categories of access to justice, civil society participation and having civil liberties. The country scored highly in "electoral participation".
The countries mentioned in the report were judged based on whether or not they have a representative government. To come to conclusions in this regard, the organisation evaluated whether or not the country has clean elections, inclusive suffrage, free political parties and an elected government.
The organisation also evaluated whether there are sufficient checks on the government. They examined whether the parliament is effective and the judiciary is independent, and if there is media integrity.
To decide what type of democracy a country is, IDEA scrutinised whether the administration is impartial, whether there is sufficient civil society members and electoral participation, and what local democracy is like.
The organisation also looked at whether the country has fundamental rights, which includes access to justice, practice of civil liberties, social rights and equality.
Bangladesh was mentioned in the report for its arrests and harassments of media workers.
"Governments' pandemic responses have sparked additional serious concerns about restrictions on the capacity of media to hold governments accountable," said the report.
In it, it was found that a greater number of countries are sliding towards authoritarianism, while the number of established democracies under threat has never been so high.