UN human rights chief calls on newly-elected Bangladesh authorities to shift course to make sure democracy – JURIST

UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Monday urged the newly-elected authorities of Bangladesh to redirect its course in direction of democracy and expressed concern over the violence-marred environment throughout Sunday’s ballot.

Bangladesh’s twelfth parliamentary election was performed on January 7. The nation’s military was deployed days earlier to maintain peace forward of the polls. The Awami League, Bangladesh’s ruling celebration, registered its fourth consecutive victory, which earned Sheikh Hasina a fifth time period as prime minister of the nation. Nonetheless, the election was marred by assaults and crackdowns on opposition leaders. The polling day witnessed widespread violence all through the nation, leading to a low turnout of 40 per cent. Moreover, the principle opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Social gathering (BNP) boycotted the polls and commenced a 48-hour strike on Saturday to disrupt the “fraudulent” election in an try and “restore democracy.”

Türk condemned the arbitrary detention of “hundreds of opposition supporters” and implored the federal government to take the required steps to strengthen Bangladesh’s democracy. Additional, he urged the federal government to undertake impartial investigations into circumstances of human rights violations, together with arbitrary arrests, killings and detention in harsh circumstances. “Democracy was laborious received in Bangladesh and should not grow to be beauty … The way forward for all Bangladeshis is at stake”, mentioned Türk.

As well as, the US Department of State, in a press launch on Monday, shared its perception that the “elections weren’t free or truthful”. It conveyed its apprehension concerning the arrests of opposition members and the irregularities on polling day. The division additionally urged Bangladesh to undertake a reputable investigation into cases of violence. US State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller beforehand advocated for non-violent “free and truthful elections” in Bangladesh in a December 2023 press briefing.

On comparable traces, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) underscored the significance of “credible, open, and truthful competitors” in democratic elections and added that “these requirements weren’t persistently met through the election interval.” It known as upon the political events to ” discover a widespread manner ahead within the pursuits of the folks of Bangladesh.”

Tensions escalated in Bangladesh in late October after the BNP held an enormous rally that noticed clashes with police. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported an enormous crackdown on opposition leaders and activists by police, leading to deaths, forward of the January 7 election.

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