Bangladesh: European Parliament condemns human rights violations amid crackdown

In its urgent resolution of 15 November 2018 on the human rights situation in Bangladesh, the European Parliament (EP) expressed « serious concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in Bangladesh and, in particular, at the ongoing crackdown on the freedom of expression and assembly against the media, students, activists, and the opposition ».

FIDH and its member organisation Odhikar provided the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) with the latest grassroots information prior to the adoption of the resolution, with a specific focus on student arrests, an issue highlighted by the MEPs who condemned “the fact that people are being arrested and subjected to violence for exercising their freedom of expression to criticise the government” amid reports “that the use of torture is becoming endemic”.

Furthermore, the MEPs specifically called on the Bangladeshi authorities to « immediately and unconditionally release Shahidul Alam, drop all charges against him, and allow him to continue his legitimate human rights work ». FIDH, through its Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, campaigned for the release of Shahidul Alam, human rights defender, founder of the Drik photo agency and of the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. Subsequently released on bail, FIDH remains deeply concerned by the ongoing judicial harassment against Shahidul Alam and continues to campaign for all charges to dropped.

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