Bangladesh elections: Hold those responsible accountable for ‘violent attacks and intimidation’

World Bank/ Dominic Chavez Residents living in a slum in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Violence and alleged human rights violations in Bangladesh “before, during and after” 30 December elections have prompted the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) to call on Friday for those responsible to be held to account.

“There are credible reports of fatalities and numerous injuries on polling day alone”, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva on Friday.

Amidst allegations of vote-rigging, a landslide victory was declared for incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, with the opposition leader rejecting the results.

“There are worrying indications that reprisals have continued to take place, notably against the political opposition, including physical attacks and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests, harassment, disappearances and filing of criminal cases”, continued the spokesperson, noting reports of disproportionate “violent attacks and intimidation” by ruling party activists, and, in some cases, with the involvement of law enforcement officials.

Ms. Shamdasani cited reports of media intimidation and property damage, as well as other constraints that have hindered free and public reporting on the elections.

She asserted that at least two journalists covering the election have been arrested under the 2018 Digital Security Act, which, according to news reports, suppresses free speech and press freedom.

Moreover, since 10 December at least 54 news and other websites have been blocked, and temporary internet restrictions around election day have constrained freedom of expression.

Pointing to reports of police breaking up peaceful protests demanding a re-election, and arrests under laws such as the Digital Security Act, she said that the space for human rights defenders and organizations, political opposition and the general public, to speak out about the election, had become “restricted”.

“Restrictive legislation, including this Act, should be reformed so that human rights defenders, civil society, journalists and all members of the public are protected in their exercise of the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association and engage freely in debating the election and Bangladesh’s democratic and development processes”, stressed the OHCHR spokesperson.

The UN agency urged the authorities to carry out “prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations” into all alleged violence and human rights violations surrounding the elections, and to hold those responsible accountable, “regardless of their political affiliations”.

OHCHR also encouraged the national Human Rights Commission to play an independent and proactive role.

“We call on the authorities to take urgent measures to prevent further reprisals, and to ensure that law enforcement authorities exercise their powers strictly in accordance with the rule of law and principles of legality and proportionality,” Ms. Shamdasani concluded. 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

European Commission recommends common EU approach to the security of 5G networks

From beer to blenders – 5 creative ways people are being persuaded to get their COVID-19 vaccination

Estonia built one of the world’s most advanced digital societies. During COVID-19, that became a lifeline

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

Why collaboration is key to global reforestation efforts

Draghi tells the EU Parliament his relaxed policies are here to stay

US-EU trade negotiations: pointless tariffs against real economic growth

Much more than a ‘lifeline’ for millions of households, remittances can spur global growth, says UN agency

Can ECB’s €60 billion a month save Eurozone?

5 futuristic ways to fight cyber attacks

GSMA Outlines New Developments For MWC19 Shanghai

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

This wall of shoes is for the women killed by domestic violence

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

EU leaders prepare timetable and structure for EU budget negotiations

There is huge talent in the world’s refugee camps. We must realize this overlooked potential

Royal Navy to unveil future surveillance and reconnaissance requirements next February in Rome

Understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccine campaign

UN film festival encourages young people to promote peace, dialogue and empathy

EU/African, Caribbean and Pacific partnership: MEPs list key aims for renewal

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

This is how good governance can make sure technology works for everyone

European Youth Event 2020: giving a voice to young people to influence EU policy

4 reasons why women should lead the G7 agenda in 2018

Mixed news about the Eurozone economy

World faces ‘climate apartheid’ risk, 120 more million in poverty: UN expert

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

Yes, ESG is complicated. Together, we can simplify it

If this is Globalization 4.0, what were the other three?

This Norwegian cruise line plans to power its ships with rotting fish

The 3 traps when it comes to blockchain and business – and how to avoid them

Handwashing is not just for coronavirus – how good hygiene could help reduce antibiotic use

Sanity in times of COVID-19

“Move fast, build to last: Europe’s new generation” – op-ed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Statement by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

Commission takes further action to ensure professionals can fully benefit from the Single Market

The rise of techno-nationalism – and the paradox at its core

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

LUX Audience Award 2021 goes to Collective

China has made a shocking food production discovery – electro culture

How to make trade single windows more efficient with blockchain

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

Commission disburses €14 billion under SURE to nine Member States

This 3D-printed steak could help us reduce meat consumption

We generate 125,000 jumbo jets worth of e-waste every year. Here’s how we can tackle the problem

The UK’s River Thames has come back to life – with a seal population to prove it

New skills agenda for Europe needs real investment

Releasing trapped value is key to success in the digital world

This is why mental health should be a political priority

3 leaders on creating a pipeline for female talent in business

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

How can we make enough vaccine for 2 billion people?

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

State aid: Commission approves €650 million Polish support to LOT in context of coronavirus outbreak

State aid: Commission expands Temporary Framework to further support micro, small and start-up companies and incentivise private investments

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s