Bangladesh: Opposition Claims 4K Charged in Govt. Crackdown

    Photo: EPA [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • Sairul Kabir Khan, a spokesman for the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP), has claimed that over 4K named party supporters and leaders are facing "fake" charges related to alleged violence in nationwide protests over power cuts. Khan claimed another 20K unnamed party supporters have also been charged, regardless of whether or not they attended any rallies.

    • Khan also suggested that the police aren't a "neutral force," alleging that security forces fail to prevent attacks from the ruling Awami League party against BNP members, but react when the opposition retaliates.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The Bangladeshi government tramples on political opposition despite years of campaigns by global rights groups and US sanctions. Since 2009, thousands of people have been killed extrajudicially and more than 600 have been victims of "enforced disappearance." The international community must work to curb this oppressive and authoritarian regime.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    So-called "rights abuses" in Bangladesh have been chronically misreported due to deliberate fabrications by activist groups and the BNP. A recent UN report even promoted biased half-truths and listed arsonists and drug peddlers as victims of "enforced disappearances." While the country may face institutional problems, the Awami League-led government is deeply committed to human rights.

    Establishment split



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