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Bangladesh police arrest aide of ex-PM for violating protest ban

[JURIST] Bangladesh police on Wednesday arrested an associate of former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] on suspicion of instigating street demonstrations in violation of the ban on assembly, one of the freedoms restricted in January when the military government declared a state of emergency [JURIST report; advocacy backgrounder]. Hannan Shah, a former military officer and an outspoken member of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), which is led by the incarcerated Zia, was previously arrested in May [Financial Express report] on extortion charges, but was released in July after posting bail. BBC News has more.

The new interim government has arrested over 150 high-profile citizens since declaring a state of emergency in January due to concerns that fraud would mar national elections scheduled for January 22. Zia has been charged with corruption [JURIST report], and her rival, former PM Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile] has been charged by Bangladesh's anti-corruption commission [governing statute, PDF] with six counts of murder, corruption, and most recently, bribery [JURIST reports].

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