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Edit Date:7/28/2010 12:00:00 AM

The current government has accelerated Bangladesh’s descent to authoritarianism: dismantling freedoms, violating human rights and removing mechanisms of scrutiny. The international community must act now before Bangladesh confirms its status as a police state. 1. Political Suppression: - Leaders of Moderate and Democratic Islamic Party, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (Jamaat), are being persecuted very severely with the aid of law enforcement agencies. In the last few weeks five top leaders (Ex-Cabinet ministers, EX-MPs, renowned national leaders) HAVE BEEN arrested, tortured in the name of remand. Hundreds other mid-level leaders are also arrested countrywide; more than 5 thousands workers/members are arrested in past few months without any reason (please delete these 3 words). Arrests have continued unabated. - The Biggest Opposition Party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders have been arrested. Three central leaders were arrested and tortured on June 27, 2010. Any peaceful demonstrations are being brutally subdued. - Biggest Political Violence, extra-judicial killing, abduction - In the year of 2009, Odhikar, a human rights organization, reported that 251 people have been killed and 15,559 have been injured largely by the cadres of the ruling party. From January to mid February 2010, more than 45 people have been killed, and another 3 thousand people have got injured. Plain cloth policemen are abducting opposition political leaders regularly. 2. Freedom of the press Hampered: Closed down a daily called Amardesh and arrested its editor who has been tortured in police custody and in remand for weeks now. Ordered the closure of Channel One, a popular TV channel, by an executive decision of the Ministry of Information; Cancelled the license of another TV channel, Zamuna TV; but issued licenses to pro-government 10 new TV channels. Stopped the most popular talk shows on various TV channels. 3. Removing an independent Judiciary: 1. Compromised the independence of the judiciary by appointing incompetent and partisan Judges to the High Court division of the Supreme Court; 2. Re-organised the benches with their active political supporters in the most important writ and bail benches along with the Appellate division by appointing less competent Judges by superseding other senior judges, which was never the custom of the highest judiciary of the country; and 3. Made regular undue interventions in judicial decisions through the politically appointed Attorney General’s office and that of Public Prosecutors’. 4. Women and Minority repression: In some universities, the youth/student wing of the ruling government has set up torture cells to inhumanly torture their political opponents and teachers. They have also established “rape and drug houses”. Recently in Pirojpur, three hijab wearing girls were arrested, harassed, and tortured in police custody despite finding no clue of militancy (please remove these 6 words). Previously a BCL cadre celebrated his “century of rapes” that drew media attention. 5. Moving Towards one-party rule: The current govt. is moving towards one-party rule crushing and banning opposition parties, democratic practices, and rule of law. The government has become not only aggressive but also extremely violent in wiping out all traces of other parties’ symbols. Numerous false cases have been filed against their leaders. During another regime (1971-1975), the ruling party’s former leader Shaikh Mujibur Rahman established “one party rule” banning all other political parties and newspapers (except four state-controlled newspapers).

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