• Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:16 pm

HRW: Investigate allegations of election violence

  • Published at 11:07 pm December 22nd, 2018
WEB_Pre polls violence_Bogra
Miscreants vandalize ten motorcycles at Bogra’s Sonatola on Thursday, December 20, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

This report, based on more than 50 interviews with political activists, students, and members of civil society, and analysis of court records and secondary sources, documents repeated instances of arbitrary security force arrest and detention of protesters and political opposition figures, and acts of violence and intimidation by members of the ruling party’s student and youth wings

A repressive political environment in Bangladesh ahead of the December 30 national elections is undermining the credibility of the process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Saturday. Bangladeshi authorities should impartially investigate allegations of election violence and ensure that those responsible are held to account, it said.

The 37-page report, “Creating Panic”; Bangladesh Election Crackdown on Political Opponents and Critics,” finds that authoritarian measures, including widespread surveillance and a crackdown on free speech, have contributed to a widely described climate of fear. While there have been violent attacks by supporters of all rival political parties, the authorities have failed to act impartially, Human Rights Watch said. The police have arrested and detained opposition members, but failed to act properly against ruling party supporters when they target opposition candidates. The report expands on Human Rights Watch findings earlier in December.

“To ensure that the elections meet international standards, the police and election commission should not appear to be acting like extensions of the ruling party,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The violence during the campaign that has mainly targeted the opposition bears out their misgivings about unfair treatment.”

This report, based on more than 50 interviews with political activists, students, and members of civil society, and analysis of court records and secondary sources, documents repeated instances of arbitrary security force arrest and detention of protesters and political opposition figures, and acts of violence and intimidation by members of the ruling party’s student and youth wings.


Also Read- No room for violence


Political leaders in Bangladesh should instruct their followers to end the rapidly escalating campaign of violence, Human Rights Watch said.

On December 11, two members of the ruling Awami League were killed in separate incidents, and on December 16, a party office was vandalized. However, much of the campaign violence has targeted the opposition BNP and the opposition coalition Jatiya Oikya Front.

Each of the main parties has blamed the other for the violence. But in cases when the victims belonged to the opposition, the police and Election Commission have typically declined to take action, or even to acknowledge that the incident occurred. BNP candidate Mohammad Asaduzzaman told Human Rights Watch that after his campaign in Jhendaidah was attacked on December 11, he has repeatedly filed complaints to the commission. “They acknowledge receipt, but take no action,” he said.

Bangladesh should take immediate steps to uphold its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), including rights against arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to political participation, Human Rights Watch said.

“To mitigate the risks of further violence before and after election day, all parties should insist that their supporters desist from violence and the authorities should uphold the law in a neutral fashion,” Adams said. “International actors who care about stability and democracy in Bangladesh should continue to publicly press the Bangladesh government to create the conditions for a credible election.”

54
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail