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, national day of Bangladesh is every March 26. 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.
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.
More refugees are being brought to the island in the Bay of Bengal
Another 1,800 Rohingya are being transported by four naval vessels to the island of Bhashan Char in the Bay of Bengal. In total, the government intends to relocate 100,000 of about one million refugees in the overcrowded refugee camps around Cox’s Bazar to the island where, according to the authorities, the refugees will have better living conditions than in the old camps. To date, 3,400 Rohingya have been relocated in two rounds.
Rohingya are moved to disputed beer camps
Bangladeshi authorities are transporting around 1,600 Rohingya to the low-lying island of Bhashan Char in the Bay of Bengal, where a large refugee camp has been set up. The island is exposed to both cyclones and floods and several human rights groups have criticized the conditions in the camp on the island. Nearly one million Rohingya live in a network of simple refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh. Most of them fled a military offensive in Myanmar in 2017. Drug abuse and crime have increased rapidly in the camps, and many young refugees have been radicalized there. The refugee crisis is taking a heavy toll on Bangladesh’s economy and the communities next to the camps. The UN Office in Bangladesh regrets that it has not been given access to the transfer to the beer camp. In total, Bangladesh plans to bring around 23,000 Rohynian refugees to the island.