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Bangladesh: Police must avoid unnecessary force after protest violence

One activist dead and hundreds injured at opposition protests

‘Having different political views is not tolerated within the country’ - Yasasmin Kaviratne

In response to news of the death of one person and injuries to hundreds of others during clashes at opposition-led anti-government protests across Bangladesh, Yasasmin Kaviratne, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, said:

“It is the duty of the authorities to facilitate and protect the right to peaceful assembly and ensure that police exhaust non-violent means before resorting to force.

“People should be free to protest, and by muffling their voices the Government is signalling that having different political views is not tolerated within the country.

“We strongly urge the Bangladeshi authorities to ensure law-enforcement officials exercise restraint.

“An investigation into the death of the activist should be conducted promptly and impartially to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice.”

Demand for PM to step down

At least one opposition activist has been killed and hundreds of others injured in clashes across Bangladesh as protesters took to the streets in large numbers demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina step down to ensure that forthcoming elections in the country - expected in January - are free and fair. Multiple media outlets have reported the indiscriminate use of firearms by the police and the arrest of opposition leaders. Amnesty has documented recent attacks on opposition leaders and efforts to suppress demonstrations in Bangladesh.

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