Bangladesh protests demand prime minister resign


Bangladesh opposition supporters protested July 29 to demand the resignation of the prime minister and leader of Awami League, Sheikh Hasina. The protests followed a call to action from the Bangladesh National Party (BNP). Protestors blocked several entry points to the capital Dhaka, and some threw rocks at police. The police responded with tear-gas, rubber bullets and batons. The Dhaka metropolitan police admitted to these tactics, saying that officers were injured. BNP leader Abdul Moyeen Khan said that 1,000 supporters have been arrested, two times higher than the 500 figure provided by the police.

These protests were the latest among a year-long series of demonstrations demanding new elections under a caretaker government. The BNP believes that elections that brought the Awami League to power in 2018 were not free and fair. At the time, BNP leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia was convicted of corruption and barred from the election.

The Bangladesh government has since then been criticized for undemocratic practices and human rights violations. Bangladeshi victims have spoken out about planned extrajudicial killings, and those who shared their experiences of such practices have faced arrest and torture. The United States has restricted the issuing of visas to Bangladeshi citizens who are believed to have undermined the democratic process in Bangladesh.

From Jurist, July 30. Used with permission.

Photo via Twitter

  1. Bangladesh opposition protest turns violent

    One police officer was killed in Dhaka on Oct. 28 and over 100 people injured during an opposition party protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and calling for a free and fair vote under a caretaker government. (France24)

  2. Bangladesh opposition leader arrested

    A Dhaka court on Oct. 29 ordered the arrest of Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary-general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and dozens of BNP members after a major opposition protest held the previous day in the capital. (Jurist)

  3. Bangladesh high court rejects plea by banned political party

    The Bangladesh Supreme Court on Nov. 19 dismissed an appeal by Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party, which sought the reversal of a 2013 high court ruling that declared the party illegal, finding that it had violated the constitutional principle of secularism. Hence, the party cannot participate in the upcoming national elections scheduled for January. (Jurist)

  4. Bangladesh opposition party continues protests

    The Bangladesh Nationalist Party said Nov. 29 that it will continue to stage anti-government protests, as well as call a boycott of the country’s upcoming January elections, in the face of a crackdown by the ruling Awami League party. (Jurist)

  5. UN expresses concern after violence-marred Bangladesh vote

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker TĂŒrk on Jan. 8 urged the newly-elected government of Bangladesh to redirect te country’s course back toward democracy, and expressed concern over the violence-marred atmosphere during the weekend’s poll.

    Bangladesh’s 12th parliamentary election was conducted Jan. 7. The army was deployeddays earlier to keep peace ahead of the polls. The ruling Awami League registered its fourth consecutive victory, earning Sheikh Hasina a fifth term as prime minister. However, the election was marred by mass arrests and attacks on opposition figures. The polling day witnessed widespread violence throughout the country, resulting in a low turnout of 40%. Additionally, the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted the polls and began a 48-hour strike that day to disrupt the “fraudulent” election. (Jurist)