Bangladesh


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Bangladesh Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

There are a wide range of grave human rights issues in Bangladesh.

The Government of Bangladesh is responsible for multiple human rights violations, including unlawful killings and disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture. Some of these have been in response to attacks by armed groups claiming to act in the name of Islam. Disappearances occur at an alarming rate, often of supporters of opposition parties such as Bangladesh National Party and Jamaat-e-Islami. Unlawful arrests occur frequently, as does torture in security force custody. Rights to freedom of speech and assembly are under assault, as the Government applies repressive laws and presses arbitrary criminal charges against journalists who publish criticism of the government. Other media and civil society activists also report threats and intimidation.

Armed groups have attacked and killed dozens of secular activists, LGBTI people, and foreign nationals. Among these groups are Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansar el Islam, which respectively claimed allegiance to Islamic State and al-Qaeda. A number of secular activists and bloggers have been hacked to death in targeted killings.

Government restrictions remain in place on access to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The right to freedom of expression of journalists and human rights organizations are curtailed. Women and girls in the area face multiple forms of discrimination and violence.

The death penalty remains in effect. The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), a Bangladeshi court established to investigate the genocide and war crimes that occurred in the 1971 independence war, has convicted a number of people of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and several have been executed. Although horrendous abuses were committed during the 1971 war, UN human rights experts have expressed concern about irregularities and the fairness of the ICT trials.

Violence against women and girls is a serious problem, including rape, dowry-related violence, acid attacks, and domestic violence. In addition, Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Poor implementation of laws and ineffective investigations help lead to a culture of impunity and a continued high rate of violence and discrimination.

An acute humanitarian crisis began in August 2017 when more than 655,000 of Myanmar’s mainly Muslim Rohingya fled to Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district to escape violence inflicted by the Myanmar military in northern Rakhine State. Newly arrived Rohingya live in difficult conditions and are not permitted to leave the camps.

Bangladesh Newsroom



April 5, 2018 • Press Release

Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees returns must be safe, voluntary and dignified

Amnesty International called on the government of Bangladesh to uphold its commitment that Rohingya refugees are only returned in conditions that are safe, voluntary and dignified. In a meeting with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, acknowledged the generosity that the country had shown nearly a million Rohingya refugees who …

March 12, 2018 • Press Release

Bangladesh: International support for Rohingya refugees is urgently needed

Responding to the news that UN officials have called for nearly $1bn (USD) in assistance for the nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik, said:

January 22, 2018 • Press Release

Bangladesh/Myanmar: Postponing returns arrangement provides temporary relief for Rohingya refugees

The government of Bangladesh’s announcement that it is to postpone the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar is a welcome relief for hundreds of thousands currently living in Bangladesh, Amnesty International said today. Implementing a returns arrangement finalized last week in its current form would put the safety and rights of more than 650,000 Rohingya who fled a brutal military crackdown last year in serious jeopardy.

January 16, 2018 • Press Release

Bangladesh: Returning Rohingya to Myanmar illegal and premature

Responding to an announcement by the Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry that it will aim to repatriate all Rohingya refugees within two years, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

November 28, 2017 • Press Release

Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees must not be relocated to uninhabitable island

The Bangladesh government must abandon all plans to relocate more than 100,000 Rohingya refugees on to an uninhabitable island, Amnesty International said today.

November 23, 2017 • Press Release

Rohingya returns in Myanmar unthinkable until apartheid system is dismantled

In response to news that the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an agreement to return close to a million Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh, Amnesty International’s Director for Refugee and Migrant Rights, Charmain Mohamed, said the following

October 17, 2017 • Report

‘My World Is Finished’: Rohingya Targeted in Crimes against Humanity in Myanmar

More than 530,000 Rohingya men, women and children have fled northern Rakhine State in terror in a matter of weeks amid the Myanmar security forces’ targeted campaign of widespread and systematic murder, rape and burning, Amnesty International said today in its most detailed analysis yet of the ongoing crisis. 



December 16, 2016 • Report

“We are at a breaking point”: Rohingya: Persecuted in Myanmar, neglected in Bangladesh

The Myanmar security forces are responsible for unlawful killings, multiple rapes and the burning down of houses and entire villages in a campaign of violence against Rohingya people that may amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International reveals in a new report today.

September 6, 2016 • Press Release

Bangladesh: Release Facebook user who criticised Prime Minister

The Bangladeshi authorities must immediately release a 22-year-old student activist detained for two Facebook posts criticising the country’s Prime Minister, Amnesty International said today. Dilip Roy, a student activist at Rajshahi University in western Bangladesh, will be appearing at a bail hearing on 4 September. “Bangladesh’s authorities should immediately drop this case. By invoking draconian …

August 30, 2016 • Press Release

Bangladesh: Halt imminent execution of Mir Quasem Ali after unfair trial

The Bangladesh authorities must halt the imminent execution of a senior political leader who has been sentenced to death following a deeply flawed trial, Amnesty International said today. “The people of Bangladesh deserve justice for crimes committed during the War of Independence. The continued use of the death penalty will not achieve this. It only …