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Bangladesh arrests former PM on corruption charges

[JURIST] Bangladeshi authorities arrested former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed [Wikipedia profile] following a raid on her home Monday, accusing Hasina of extorting approximately $1.16 million from two businessmen. Hasina is also accused of involvement in the political assassination [JURIST report] of four rivals during her tenure in office from 1996 to 2001. Hasina has denied the allegations, and supporters protested her arrest in the capital city of Dhaka and in other regions across Bangladesh.

In June, Hasina, the leader of the opposition Awami League [party website], criticized the arrest [JURIST report] of Awami secretary general Abdul Jalil as an "autocratic move" motivated by politics rather than any legitimate attempt to stamp out corruption. The Bangladeshi interim emergency government [JURIST report], which came to power in January with the backing of the military, has used its anti-corruption campaign [BBC Q&A; JURIST news archive] to justify the declaration of a state of emergency [JURIST report] allowing detention without warrants or specific charges. The emergency government has also filed corruption charges against Hasina's rival, former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] and last Thursday jailed a UN human rights expert who had been prevented from traveling to Geneva to deliver a report on human trafficking. BBC News has more.

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