Al-Jazeera reports on pre-election raids


(2 hours ago) Sunday, November 12, 2023, 6:52 pm

Qatar-based media Al-Jazeera reported on the arrest of opposition party leaders and activists in Bangladesh before the general election in January. The media has uploaded a two-minute video on its YouTube account. It said stories of family members being tortured and missing or found dead have become increasingly common in Bangladesh.

The video highlights one such woman named Salma Islam. It is said that even after nearly a decade, Salma Islam still broke down while describing the moment of seeing her husband’s body. He was a member of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Salma Islam said, I found my husband’s body near our village house just three days after the white-clothed police arrested him. His body bore multiple bullet and torture marks. The family still faces frequent harassment and threats from the authorities.

Salma Islam asked, are we not citizens of this country? Earlier this month, my brother was picked up by plainclothes detectives. He was then produced in court after six days of missing. There were marks of torture on his body.

He could barely stand. He was then sent to jail. My other brother is absconding.

Political analysts say there is no more space left in prisons. Thousands of opposition members have been arrested across the country in the past two weeks. Many of those arrested are not even affiliated with any political party. The central office of the main opposition party has been cordoned off by the police.

Al-Jazeera reports that the blockade has led to tension across the city and significantly reduced traffic congestion. At least dozens of cars were torched and vandalized last week as opposition parties called for a general strike and blockade. The government has blamed the opposition for the vandalism. Action has also been ordered against those who started vandalism and fire. However, many innocent people have also been arrested, Al-Jazeera reported. Critics say that the government’s promise to ensure the necessary environment for holding free and fair elections in January is not matching the reality.

The article is in Bengali


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