22 arrested in Bangladesh after latest courthouse bombings

[JURIST] Bangladesh police on Wednesday detained 22 suspects in the latest round of suicide bombings outside courthouses around the country. Nine people died and over 65 were wounded when two bombs detonated [BBC report] Tuesday, in what police and lawyers call a campaign by Islamic militants to press the judiciary into introducing Islamic Sharia law [CFR backgrounder]. Two judges were killed [JURIST report] in a bombing attack two weeks ago, prompting at least one judicial resignation. In a letter obtained by JURIST, Assistant Judge Chowdhury Hafizur Rahman, stepping down from the Judges Court in Barisal, also cited the government's own interference with the independence of the judiciary, saying there had been "systematic manipulation" and that

some of our executives let the judiciary down and undermined its dignity, integrity and [are] still continuing to delay unnecessarily...We are straining beyond its limits a healthy system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of simple law, liberty and life...that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained Bangladesh's ability to defend its interests....
Lawyers and judges boycotted courts Wednesday, demanding that the government take action against the violence, and have called for a nationwide general strike [Financial Times report] for Thursday. Reuters has more.

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