Bangladesh - Latest Developments

Despite sanctions, abuses against activists, journalists and protesters persist in Bangladesh

Human rights abuses have continued to be reported including judicial harassment of human rights defenders as well as the families of activists in exile. Families of the disappeared have been coerced to sign statements denying the violation took place. Journalists have also been targeted as well as media outlets critical of the state. The police have also disrupted and used excessive force against protesters. In some cases, ruling party supporters were also involved in attacks on protesters with impunity. Read more

Despite sanctions, abuses against activists, journalists and protesters persist in Bangladesh

Journalists covering Bangladesh face criminalisation, vilification and false copyright claims

In recent months, there have been reports of journalists being arrested under the draconian Digital Security Act for their reporting or facing harassment and vilification. One tactic that has been increasingly exposed to silence journalists is the use of false copyright claims. New reports highlight how the Digital Security Act has been used to target journalists, cartoonists, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs, students and other critics and how Bangladesh security forces routinely carry out enforced disappearances. Read more

Journalists covering Bangladesh face criminalisation, vilification and false copyright claims

Press freedom under assault in Bangladesh while critics, protesters also silenced

In recent months, journalists have been targeted for their reporting on the pandemic or being critical of the authorities. Some have been criminalised and attacked, including Rozina Islam, Abu Tayeb Munshi and Ruhul Amin Gazi and there is still no accountability for the death of writer and commentator Mushtaq Ahmed. Reports of police brutality and attacks by pro-government groups against anti-Modi protesters in March 2021 have yet to be investigated. Read more

Press freedom under assault in Bangladesh while critics, protesters also silenced

Artists, journalists and activists targeted in Bangladesh while protesters threatened and attacked

In recent months, the government has used the repressive Digital Security Act (DSA) against artists, including film director Anonno Mamun and folk singer Rita Dewan, while writer Mushtaq Ahmed and cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore remain in detention. A Daily Sangram reporter was also arrested under this law while photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol was finally released on bail following his disappearance in March and detention in May 2020 under the DSA. There have been acts of harassment against relatives of a human rights defender in exile while anti-rape protesters have been threatened, smeared and attacked. Police also attempt to disrupt medical student protests and prevent opposition gatherings. Read more

Artists, journalists and activists targeted in Bangladesh while protesters threatened and attacked

Suppression of journalists and activists by Bangladesh ruling party and supporters intensifying

The Bangladesh authorities are intensifying their crackdown on the media and critics. The authorities are forcing all news portals to register with them, raising concerns about freedom of expression. A critical news website on Bangladesh, Amar Desh, has been blocked by the authorities. Journalists are facing attacks for their reporting as well as being criminalised under the draconian Digital Security Act. Ruling party supporters were mobilised to disrupt an event by Drik Gallery around extrajudicial killings in Dhaka in early September 2020. The family of human rights defender in exile Asad Noor is facing harassment while some activists are facing attacks or forcible disappearances. Read more

Suppression of journalists and activists by Bangladesh ruling party and supporters intensifying

Journalists in Bangladesh face criminalisation amid the pandemic while critics are silenced

The Bangladesh government has taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to ramp up its assault on civic freedoms. Journalists have been systematically targeted since March 2020 under the draconian Digital Security Act for their reporting on the pandemic and on other critical issues. There have also been reports of journalists allegedly being tortured or forcibly disappeared. Further, other critics who have been targeted include students, opposition activists, academics, cartoonists and writers. There has been failure to hold to account those involved in violations related to the 2018 student protests. Read more

Journalists in Bangladesh face criminalisation amid the pandemic while critics are silenced

News site blocked while critics and journalists arrested or attacked with impunity in Bangladesh

In recent months, the Bangladesh authorities have blocked a news website and arrested and charged critics under the draconian Digital Security Act. Activists linked to the ruling party were involved in attacks on journalists covering the Dhaka municipal elections in February 2020 and the death of a student who criticised the government online. There have been restrictions and attacks on peaceful rallies by opposition groups while Rohingya refugees face increasing restrictions in Cox Bazar. Read more

News site blocked while critics and journalists arrested or attacked with impunity in Bangladesh

Bangladesh authorities suppressing critics and restricting freedoms in refugee camps

In recent months lawyers and writers have faced criminal defamation charges for their critical comments, four journalists are facing trumped up charges for exposing police negligence and a news website has been blocked. Further, the authorities are attempting to restrict the civic freedoms of Rohingya refugees in the camps in Cox Bazar and have banned some NGOs from working there. Read more

Bangladesh authorities suppressing critics and restricting freedoms in refugee camps

Persistent suppression of critics in Bangladesh following elections

In the last few months, the authorities have continued to censor or ban news websites or blogs and use defamation laws such as the Digital Security Act to criminalise journalists and government critics. Read more

Persistent suppression of  critics in Bangladesh following elections

Opposition under assault and news websites blocked ahead of Bangladeshi elections

Bangladesh security forces have been arresting and intimidating opposition figures and blocked 54 news websites in advance of national elections on 30th December 2018 Read more

Opposition under assault and news websites blocked ahead of  Bangladeshi elections