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Bangladesh ex-ministers accused of corruption

[JURIST] Eight former Bangladeshi ministers face allegations of corruption Monday after Bangladeshi security forces arrested 13 former ministers and senior politicians [JURIST report] in raids in Dhaka Sunday. The government cited recently promulgated emergency powers as the basis for the detentions. Human rights groups and the country's two main political parties, the Awami League (AL) [party website] and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), are protesting the high profile arrests [IPS report] since the 13 ministers and politicians were all picked up from their homes without any arrest warrants. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has issued a warning about the arbitrary killings by security forces and urged [press release] that "arrests must be carried out in accordance with the law and due process."

Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] has been in political turmoil since former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina began feuding over proposed electoral reforms. After the disagreements led to violent street protests [BBC report] that killed 34 people, Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed [Wikipedia profile] declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] in the country January 11. In the immediate aftermath of the emergency declaration, Bangladeshi authorities detained over 2500 people [JURIST report] and raided the homes of several political leaders. National elections had been scheduled for January 22 but have been postponed indefinitely. AFP has more. The Daily Star has local coverage.

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