Crime & Justice

UN urges Bangladesh to respect rights of opposition, demonstrators

Geneva, Aug 4 (EFE).- The United Nations Human Rights Office on Friday urged the Bangladeshi authorities to “abide by their human rights obligations” when it comes to opposition leaders and supporters, who in recent months have faced police crackdown during protests.

“Authorities must abide by their human rights obligations and allow people to exercise their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Jeremy Laurence said in a statement.

Clashes between police forces and supporters of Bangladesh’s leading opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, erupted following demonstrations by the latter demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The opposition also demanded the formation of an interim government before general elections, expected to be held sometime between the end of this year and early 2024.

“We urge all political parties, their supporters and the security forces to ensure a peaceful, inclusive and safe environment enabling a free and fair ballot,” Laurence said.

The spokesperson warned of police forces using rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons against protesters, and called on the authorities to promptly investigate possible excessive use of force.

“We urge the police to ensure that force is only used when strictly necessary and, if so, in full compliance with the principles of legality, restraint and proportionality. Excessive use of force must be promptly investigated, and those responsible held to account,” he stressed.

According to the opposition, the attacks on the protesters have led to 18 deaths, while more than 2,000 have been injured – many of them in clashes with the police and supporters of the ruling Awami League. EFE


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