Bangladesh | 14 April 2020

Bangladesh: Opposition leader temporarily released

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Opposition leader‚ Khaleda‚ Zia has been‚ temporarily released‚ from custody for six months, as‚ Benar‚ News reported on 25 March 2020.‚ ‚ The 74 year old former prime minister had spent several months in hospital, after starting her 17-year sentence for corruption at the Old Dhaka Central Jail. Thomas Muller, Persecution analyst at World Watch Research,‚ comments‚ briefly:‚ "The temporary release is primarily due to health concerns.‚ Whether‚ this‚ points to‚ a wider reconciliation - or simply‚ indicates‚ that the opposition party is not considered a threat anymore - remains to be seen.‚ A possible‚ indicator will be where Zia will be‚ allowed to receive medical‚ treatment.‚ One thing is certain:‚ The country‚ desperately needs an easing‚ of political and social tension. There have been politically motivated killings and widespread demonstrations (Human Rights Watch, 14 January 2020), also recently against a visit by India"s Prime Minister Modi in March, which was cancelled as a result (Modern Diplomacy, 11 March 2020). Although the Christian minority has not been directly affected, levels of fear are high among Christians and the constant unrest is intimidating."


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