Peaceful Assembly

Various groups are able to organise rallies to protest against issues including violence against women and attacks on minorities. These are not interfered with and often receive police protection. However, more politically sensitive protest rallies such as those against environmental pollution, the unlawful acquisition of land, infrastructure development and the displacement of people, are often met with police brutality. Recently, a mobilisation of local people against the construction of a coal-based power plant in Bashkhali was met with aggression, leaving five people dead. Thousands of unnamed people were also arrested and charged with inciting violence. Garment workers also came under attack from the police when they staged rallies demanding payment of salaries. However, police forces use the most agressive tactics when dealing with rallies and processions organised by the political opposition. Organisers of these rallies often do not get permission to stage protest in their preferred locations. Even when they get permission they often face brutal physical attacks by the police using tear gas and baton charges in the name of maintaining law and order.