Bangladesh curfew draws rights group warning

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] Saturday urged [press release] the interim government of Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] to respect international human rights standards as it enforces a curfew and seeks to police demonstrations. The government imposed the curfew [JURIST report] Wednesday after three days of student protests resulted in hundreds of injuries and one death. Protesters called for an end to emergency laws [JURIST report] which have been in place since January. The curfew will remain in effect indefinitely. HRW insisted that "anyone detained under the emergency regulations must be charged with a cognizable criminal offense or released, and that anyone mistreated in detention should be able to seek and obtain an effective remedy before competent authorities." Reuters has more.

The interim government has used its anti-corruption campaign [BBC Q&A; JURIST news archive] to justify the emergency laws, and has also filed tax evasion charges against former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] and extortion charges against former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile]. Human Rights Watch claims that more than 250,000 people have been detained in the country since the caretaker government took over in January in the face of pre-electoral unrest. Scheduled national elections were later suspended.

 

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