Bangladesh. The political violence that erupted in
connection with the 2014 parliamentary elections continued
throughout the year. At least 100 people were killed and
hundreds injured in claws and clashes with security forces.
Fire bomb attacks also occurred against vehicles.
Ahead of the anniversary of the January 5 election,
opposition leader Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (GDP) had called for strikes and transport blockades.
GDP boycotted the 2014 elections and wants to push for a new
election. The government responded by putting Zia in house
arrest at her office. Police banned demonstrations and
arrested up to 7,000 people. Calls from the UN and EU to
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Government Party Awami
Union to start a dialogue with the opposition party GDP to
resolve the crisis were not heeded.
GDP withdrew from mayoral elections in April in Dhaka and
the port city of Chittagong. The victorious Awami League
rejected allegations of alleged election fraud.
In February, an arrest warrant was issued against Zia for
failing to hear suspected misconduct from a charity
foundation and an orphanage. She was released on bail in
April when she appeared before the special court that began
investigating the charges in 2014.
COUNTRYAAH, the criticized national war crimes tribunal, the
International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), continued to
investigate crimes committed during the liberation war in
1971. Human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and
Amnesty International believe the process is not legal.
Three death sentences were executed during the year, despite
protests from the UN, among others. Two were senior leaders
of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami: Deputy
Secretary-General Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was hanged in April
for, among other things, participation in the murder of 120
small farmers. In November, the party's general secretary
Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was hanged with the BNP
politician and former Minister Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury
for various war crimes. Chowdhury had been adviser to Zia.
Zia, who has been in London for care since September,
immediately returned to Dhaka.
Prime Minister Hasina dismissed the criticism of the
court and accused Amnesty in local media of defending "war
criminals", something the group rejected.
Of concern was also a series of attacks and murders of
four secular bloggers and a publisher who criticized the
rise of religious fundamentalism. A notable case occurred in
February when Bangladeshi-American blogger Avjit Roy was
stabbed to death. Several suspects were arrested during the
year and in May a radical Islamist group, the Ansarullah
Bangla Team, was banned, who claimed to have carried out
some of the attacks.
The government was criticized for not clear enough of the
attacks that were considered to be attacks on freedom of
The Islamic State (IS) terror group claimed that it
killed two foreigners, one an Italian aid worker, during the
year. The government blamed domestic groups. Some observers
feared that the attacks were a source of desperation among
groups that were hard-pressed by the hard-handed methods of
the Hasina government.
However, the Government could be pleased with the World
Bank's upgrade of the country to the category of
lower-middle-income countries after 40 years as a low-income
Prosecutors filed charges in June for killing 41 people,
including the owner of a textile factory that collapsed in
2013 where over 1,100 people died. A Relief Fund for Victims
and Relatives reached its adjusted fundraising goal of $ 30
million in June. The fund, the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund,
was set up in early 2014.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh
in June. It was then confirmed that the countries would
change control of about 160 enclaves in accordance with a
1974 agreement. The enclaves were an unresolved issue after
the split of British India in 1947 when the colonial era