• Bangladesh’s overall human rights situation worsened in 2012, as the government narrowed political and civil society space, shielded abusive security forces from accountability, and ignored calls to reform laws and procedures in flawed war crimes and mutiny trials. The security forces disguised extrajudicial killings as “crossfire” killings. Opposition members and political activists “disappeared.” Flawed trials against those accused of war crimes in the 1971 war for independence continued. When Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh from persecution in Burma, the government pushed back boatloads of refugees, insisting that it had no obligation to provide them sanctuary.
  • Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) stand guard in front of the BNP party office in Dhaka on March 12, 2012.
    The Bangladesh government should disband the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed.



  • Oct 12, 2014
    The Bangladeshi government should set 18 as the minimum age for marriage to comply with international prohibitions against child marriage. Recent media reports indicate the prime minister’s cabinet is considering a revision to the law to make 16 the minimum age of marriage for girls. The minimum age for men would be 18.
  • Sep 3, 2014
    The Bangladeshi government should immediately revoke a new media policy that imposes draconian restrictions on media freedom, Human Rights Watch said today. Donors should make it clear to the Bangladeshi government that limits on freedom of expression that violate international law are unacceptable.
  • Jul 20, 2014
    The Bangladesh government should disband the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed.
  • Jul 18, 2014
    We are writing to urge you to disband the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and, in the interim, to make it an entirely civilian force by withdrawing all military officers and soldiers from the force.
  • Jul 5, 2014
    The Bangladesh government has proposed a law that would impose draconian restrictions on already beleaguered nongovernmental organizations.
  • May 27, 2014
    Bangladesh government and retailers have largely failed to make public the findings of factory safety inspections ordered after the April 2013 Rana Plaza catastrophe that killed and injured several thousand workers, Human Rights Watch said today. Reports should be published in Bangla as well as English so that they are accessible to workers.
  • May 14, 2014
    The Bangladesh authorities should establish an independent body to investigate evidence that the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has been responsible for extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture, and other serious abuses over many years, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
  • Apr 29, 2014
    Bangladesh’s government and members of rival political parties all bear responsibility for the violence which scarred national elections on January 5, 2014.
  • Apr 23, 2014
    Survivors of the Rana Plaza building collapse one year ago in Bangladesh are still suffering from their injuries and loss of income, Human Rights Watch said today. International companies that sourced garments from five factories operating in the Rana Plaza building are not contributing enough to the financial trust fund set up to support survivors and the families of those who died, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Apr 11, 2014
    For the past decade, Lord Avebury has organised regular hearings about Bangladesh in the House of Lords. These have often been important events since they provide a platform for the AL and BNP, among others, to have public discussions that, sadly, happen all too infrequently in Bangladesh. I've been invited to speak about the human rights situation at many of them, starting with the period of the last BNP government through the military-backed caretaker government and the current AL period. Often these meetings have produced more heat than light, as representatives of the two parties screamed, interrupted and almost came to blows with each other, but they have at least clarified in public where the parties stand on key issues.