Bangladesh government arrests ex-ministers in ongoing corruption probe Melissa Bancroft at 7:31 PM ET
[JURIST] The Bangladeshi interim government arrested seven prominent citizens Tuesday in the latest chapter of its anti-corruption campaign [JURIST news archive]. The military-backed regime detained four former government ministers, two mayors, and an ex-president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry [official website]. Those arrested included former Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, former Health Minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, ex-junior Minister for Energy Rafikul Islam, and former junior Sports Minister Fazlur Rahman. Selim and Islam are members of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League [official website]. Chowdhury and Rahman are prominent members of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Hasina and Kia are political rivals, and continued clashes between their supporters have added to national unrest in the past.
The men were arrested under emergency laws [JURIST report] which allow detention without warrants or specific charges. According to the Bangladeshi government, some of the men were detained for suspected corruption while others were only detained for questioning. Since President Iajuddin Ahmed became leader of the emergency government [JURIST report] in January with a vow to end the country's infamous political corruption, more than 170 prominent citizens have been detained. AP has more.
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