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Bangladesh

Yearbook 2015

Bangladesh. The political violence that erupted in connection with the 2014 parliamentary elections continued throughout the year. At least 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in claws and clashes with security forces. Fire bomb attacks also occurred against vehicles.

2015 Bangladesh

Ahead of the anniversary of the January 5 election, opposition leader Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (GDP) had called for strikes and transport blockades. GDP boycotted the 2014 elections and wants to push for a new election. The government responded by putting Zia in house arrest at her office. Police banned demonstrations and arrested up to 7,000 people. Calls from the UN and EU to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Government Party Awami Union to start a dialogue with the opposition party GDP to resolve the crisis were not heeded.

GDP withdrew from mayoral elections in April in Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong. The victorious Awami League rejected allegations of alleged election fraud.

In February, an arrest warrant was issued against Zia for failing to hear suspected misconduct from a charity foundation and an orphanage. She was released on bail in April when she appeared before the special court that began investigating the charges in 2014.

According to COUNTRYAAH, the criticized national war crimes tribunal, the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), continued to investigate crimes committed during the liberation war in 1971. Human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International believe the process is not legal. Three death sentences were executed during the year, despite protests from the UN, among others. Two were senior leaders of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami: Deputy Secretary-General Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was hanged in April for, among other things, participation in the murder of 120 small farmers. In November, the party's general secretary Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was hanged with the BNP politician and former Minister Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury for various war crimes. Chowdhury had been adviser to Zia. Zia, who has been in London for care since September, immediately returned to Dhaka.

Prime Minister Hasina dismissed the criticism of the court and accused Amnesty in local media of defending "war criminals", something the group rejected.

Of concern was also a series of attacks and murders of four secular bloggers and a publisher who criticized the rise of religious fundamentalism. A notable case occurred in February when Bangladeshi-American blogger Avjit Roy was stabbed to death. Several suspects were arrested during the year and in May a radical Islamist group, the Ansarullah Bangla Team, was banned, who claimed to have carried out some of the attacks.

The government was criticized for not clear enough of the attacks that were considered to be attacks on freedom of speech.

The Islamic State (IS) terror group claimed that it killed two foreigners, one an Italian aid worker, during the year. The government blamed domestic groups. Some observers feared that the attacks were a source of desperation among groups that were hard-pressed by the hard-handed methods of the Hasina government.

However, the Government could be pleased with the World Bank's upgrade of the country to the category of lower-middle-income countries after 40 years as a low-income country.

Prosecutors filed charges in June for killing 41 people, including the owner of a textile factory that collapsed in 2013 where over 1,100 people died. A Relief Fund for Victims and Relatives reached its adjusted fundraising goal of $ 30 million in June. The fund, the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, was set up in early 2014.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh in June. It was then confirmed that the countries would change control of about 160 enclaves in accordance with a 1974 agreement. The enclaves were an unresolved issue after the split of British India in 1947 when the colonial era ended.

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