Conditions for human rights defenders and journalists in Bangladesh are dire, and appear to be worsening. A declining respect for democracy has precipitated the closure of civic space through a systematic clampdown on independent dissent. This intensifying crackdown on civil society has led to a de facto ban on public meetings, mass arrests of activists and reports of abductions and torture. During the first six months of 2015, national CSOs documented over 100 extrajudicial killings. Furthermore, there have been 212 documented cases of disappearances of activists since 2009. Civil society actors documenting human rights violations perpetrated by the government are particularly vulnerable to harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest. Print and electronic media houses have also been targeted – with five journalists imprisoned in 2015.