Students shout slogans as they take part in a protest over recent traffic accidents that killed a boy and a girl, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 4, 2018. Photo: Reuters
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged the government of Bangladesh to release people immediately and unconditionally who have been thrown in jail recently.
The organisation also criticized the recent wave of arrests, targeting student protesters and journalists which has created an atmosphere of fear and put a serious chill on free speech.
Bangladesh authorities are tracking social media accounts and have detained dozens of people across the country for criticizing the government over its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, according to Human Rights Watch.
Brad Adams, Asia director of the international human rights watchdog, in a news release, alleged that the government led by Sheikh Hasina "appears unable to tolerate criticism after Awami League supporters attacked protesters with machetes, sticks, and metal pipes and is apparently desperate to shut down dissent.”
“Bangladesh authorities should accept that criticism, including from young people, is part of a vibrant and healthy democracy,” Adams added.
He also urged the government to "replace the ICT Act with one that upholds the principles of freedom of expression and stop intimidating those who hold it accountable.”