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Bangladesh

Yearbook 2002

Bangladesh. The government, dominated by the Bangladesh National Party (GDP), abolished in April an anti-terror law enforced by the previous government during the Awami Party. According to Countryaah website, the General Security Act was considered to have been used to arrest the Awami Party's opponents. Instead, a new law on expedited judicial investigation of certain forms of serious public crime was passed. The Awami Party argued that the new law was contrary to the Constitution and intended to crush the opposition.

2002 Bangladesh

In June, the Awami Party interrupted its boycott of Parliament to participate in a tax debate. The party had refused to take its seats in protest of alleged cheating in the 2001 election, when the party lost government power.

By virtue of the new Security Act, the military was involved in the fight against crime. Admittedly, UN agencies and donors also criticized the high level of crime and general legal insecurity, but called for police reforms rather than military action against the civilian population. The Awami Party described the military's "Operation Clean Heart" as a form of disguised state of emergency.

President Badruddoza Chowdhury resigned in June following criticism for failing to attend a ceremony at former President Zia ur-Rahman's grave on the 21st anniversary of his death. Rahman was married to current Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Chowdhury was succeeded by former professor and biologist Iajuddin Ahmed.

At the beginning of December, at least 18 people were killed and a few hundred injured in blast attacks against four cinemas in Mymensingh, northern Bangladesh.

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