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Release Political Prisoners; Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Dakar) – Cameroon’s authorities should ensure accountability for their security forces’ crackdown on opposition leaders, supporters, and peaceful protesters in September 2020, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. They should…
Demonstrators stopped by gendarmes and police in Bafang, West Cameroon, on September 22, 2020.
News

Detention of Rozina Islam a Major Strike Against Media Freedom

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should drop all oppressive charges against the renowned Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. Islam’s colleagues believe she was detained over her reporting on corruption and…
A protester holds a placard reading "Free Rozina Islam " during a demonstration in PLACE on DATE. © 2021 Md Manik/SOPA Images/Sipa USA
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Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021. 
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Held in Pretrial Detention After Criticizing Government

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should conduct a transparent and independent investigation into the circumstances of Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Ahmed, a writer, died in prison on February 25, 2021, after being…
Activists and students demonstrate against writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in police custody, Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 26, 2021.
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Human Rights Organizations Condemn Crackdown on Free Speech Rights

(New York) – The Bangladesh authorities should end the ongoing harassment and threats against activists, human rights defenders, and their families by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, four human rights groups said today. Amnesty…
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Academics, Critics Apparently Targeted in Violation of Free Speech Rights

(New York) – The Bangladesh government appears to be cracking down on free speech as COVID-19 hits the country, silencing those who express concern over the government’s handling of the epidemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Police members wear protective equipment as they patrol the streets during the nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Coronavirus outbreak, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 2, 2020.
News

Blocking Access Could Cost Lives

UPDATE: Ethiopia announced that it would restore phone and internet service to western Oromia after a three-month shutdown. (New York) – Intentionally shutting down or restricting access to the internet violates multiple…
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Publisher, Singer Charged Under Digital Security Act

(New York) – Authorities should drop charges and immediately release from custody leading Bangladesh publisher Nur Mohammad and Sufi singer Shariat Sarker, Human Rights Watch said today. Both appear to be detained for having criticized the ruling…
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Netra News Latest to be Blocked in Free Speech Crackdown

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities are blocking access to online news sites in violation of the right to free speech and access to information, Human Rights Watch said today. The government has also adopted advanced methods to block or conduct…
Bangladeshi photojournalists and journalists form a human chain infront of National Press Club protesting the attacks on them during the students' ongoing protest demanding safe roads, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on August 7, 2018.
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Abrar Fahad’s Brutal Murder Highlights Impunity for Abuses

On October 6, Abrar Fahad, 21, was summoned from his dorm room at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) to Room 2011, known among students as the “torture cell.” The room is run by members of the Chhatra League…
Bangladesh Student Union stage a torch light procession rally to protest the murder of Abrar Fahad, a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), who was allegedly beaten to death by Bangladesh Chhatra League men.
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Poet, Lawyer, Activists Jailed in Free Speech Crackdown

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities made a series of new arrests in their crackdown on the right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests were based on vague charges such as “hurting religious sentiment” or undermining “law and…
A Bangladeshi reads a news report that makes mention of Facebook along with other social networking service, on his mobile phone in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.
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End Media Censorship, Prosecution of Journalists

In its annual press freedom index, Reporters Sans Frontières has dropped Bangladesh to 150th out of 180 countries – the lowest ranking it has ever received. Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hasan Mahmud disputed the report’s findings,…
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Government Checks Rights to Assemble, Bans Opposition Demonstrations

In a crackdown on both the opposition and the right to assemble, Cameroonian authorities have banned a week of demonstrations planned by the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) party. On April 5, the Ministry of…
Cameroonian opposition leader Maurice Kamto was arrested in Douala on January 28, 2019 for what appears to be politically motivated reasons.
News

Protect Candidates to Ensure a Credible Election

(New York) – A repressive political environment in Bangladesh ahead of the December 30, 2018 national elections is undermining the credibility of the process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Bangladeshi authorities…
Police rush Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) supporters at a protest on February 9, 2018, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Allegations of Partisan Election Commission

(New York) – Bangladesh security forces have been arresting and intimidating opposition figures and threatening freedom of expression in advance of national elections on December 30, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The United…
Police rush Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) supporters at a protest on February 9, 2018, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Ahead of Elections, Government Won’t Tolerate Criticism

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has embarked upon intensive and intrusive surveillance and monitoring of social media ahead of national elections, raising concern over a chilling effect on speech, Human Rights Watch said today. Draconian new laws…
Police in Bangladesh have registered hundreds of complaints under the Information and Communication Technology Act, including against authors of social media posts and journalists criticizing the political leadership and the ruling Awami League party.
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Digital Security Act is Overly Broad, Ripe for Abuse

(New York) – The Digital Security Act passed by the Bangladeshi parliament last week, despite vehement opposition from the country’s journalists, strikes a blow to freedom of speech in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law, which…
Bangladesh's President Abdul Hamid (3rd R) and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (2nd L) walk near female members of the Bangladesh army at the national parade ground in Dhaka on December 16, 2015.
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Shahidul Alam Held Over a Month Amidst Broader Crackdown

A Bangladesh court today rejected the bail plea of renowned photographer and activist Shahidul Alam. He had been arrested on August 5, 2018 just hours after denouncing on Al Jazeera and on Facebook the government’s crackdown on massive…
Activist and photographer Shahidul Alam arrives surrounded by policemen for an appearance in a court, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on August 6, 2018.
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Vague Law Used to Silence Students, Journalists

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities are tracking social media accounts and have detained dozens of people across the country for criticizing the government over its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The recent…
Students shout slogans as they take part in a protest over recent traffic accidents that killed a boy and a girl, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 4, 2018.
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Photographer Shahidul Alam And Others Attacked, Detained

(New York) – Instead of prosecuting those responsible for unlawfully attacking student protesters demanding road safety, Bangladesh authorities are arresting students and targeting activists and journalists who are highlighting the…
Activist and photographer Shahidul Alam arrives surrounded by policemen for an appearance in a court, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on August 6, 2018.