Bangladesh. The contradictions between the Awami
government and the largest opposition party Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (GDP) continued to cast a shadow over
GDP, which boycotted the 2014 parliamentary elections,
ran in local elections in preparation for the next
parliamentary elections. At least 120 people were killed
during the local elections, which were held in six rounds.
Some violence was attributed to settlements between rival
factions within the Awami League.
countryaah, a series of acts of violence and murders of secular bloggers, religious minorities, including Hindu priests, and
LGBT activists were reported. Since 2013, these attacks are
believed to have required at least 50 fatalities. Two
students were given the death penalty in January for the
2013 murder of a secular blogger.
The June murder of the wife of a senior police officer
who investigated then-attributed banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen
helped trigger an extensive arrest wave. At least 13,000
people were arrested. The raids were allegedly directed
against suspected jihadists as well as members of the
Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami. The BNP claimed that the aim
was to silence the opposition. Human rights groups have
criticized the police for abusing prisoners and demanding
bribes to release those arrested.
Legal proceedings against the opposition are one of the
government's methods of silencing critics. The government
was also criticized for pushing through a law that restricts
the ability of individual organizations to receive foreign
Several charges were brought during the year against GDP
leader Khaleda Zia for, among other things, corruption and
upheaval in connection with violent protests in 2015. She
and her eldest son, Tarique Rahman, were re-elected as BNP's
highest leader in March. The son was sentenced in July to
seven years in prison for bribery and money laundering, but
has appealed. A bloody hostage drama in July at a cafe in a
prosperous part of the capital Dhaka created headlines and
concerns. Of the 27 dead, 20 were hostages, most of them
foreigners. The Islamic State (IS) took on the act. But the
government claimed that domestic Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen was
behind. Prime Minister Shejk Hasina promised to answer those
responsible and Khaleda Zia condemned the act. Security
forces killed several suspects at various attacks, including
the man who allegedly planned the attack.
Growth was just over 7% during the year and the country
sought to attract investments from China, Japan, the Russian
Federation and neighboring India, among others. In October,
Chinese President Xi Jinping conducted the first Chinese
state visit in 30 years and signed a series of cooperation
and loan agreements.
World Bank Governor Jim Yong Kim, during a visit,
highlighted progress made in poverty alleviation.
Investments in education, roads and getting women out of the
labor market were a few factors. But more was required. The
World Bank granted $ 2 billion in loans for climate
A fire in a packaging plant that claimed 33 deaths in
September again put the searchlight on deficiencies in work
environment and safety.
In March, Atiur Rahman, as head of the central bank after
the disclosure in February, resigned over $ 101 million from
a currency account held by the central bank in the New York
Federal Reserve. While $ 21 million could be tracked and
blocked in Sri Lanka, $ 80 million remained in the
During the year, two death sentences were handed down by
the criticized National Criminal Tribunal, the International
Crimes Tribunal (ICT), for crimes committed during the
Liberation War of 1971. Motiur Rahman Nizami, leader of the
Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged in May. In September, one
of the party's main financiers, Mir Quasem Ali, was
executed. Other defendants received life sentences. The
government rejected criticism from Pakistan and Turkey.
Human rights groups have also pointed to shortcomings in the
Bangladesh was also criticized for not allowing refugees
from neighboring Burma's Muslim minority, Rohingya, who were
on the run after escalating violence at the end of the year.