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.
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
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.