[JURIST] Bangladesh’s minister of law on Sunday told the press that the arrest of a well-known magazine editor, Shafik Rahman, was not politically motivated. Recently, Rahman was named the convener of the international affairs committee for the opposition Bangladesh National Party. Rahman was apprehended on Saturday. The law minister, Anisul Huq, denied the arrest was tied to politics [Al Jazeera report].
Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch reported that Bangladesh failed [JURIST report] to respond adequately to naturally occurring arsenic in rural drinking water. The report found that the government’s efforts to combat water-contamination has drastically fallen off since 2006. Also in April, former Bangladeshi prime minister Khaleda Zia surrendered to a court [JURIST report] after an arrest warrant was issued against her in connection with the firebombing bus attack last year staged in opposition of the government. In March the Bangladesh high court threw out a petition [JURIST report] introduced by secular activists that sought the removal of Islam as the state religion. In January the high court of Bangladesh upheld the death sentence of Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes [JURIST report] committed in the country’s war for independence against Pakistan in 1971. Nizami’s conviction was upheld on charges of genocide, murder, torture, and rape.