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'Bangladesh witnessed a spate of violent attacks'  

15 January 2017, 2:01:58

International Desk: Bangladesh witnessed a spate of violent attacks against secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists, foreigners, and members of religious minorities in 2016, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2017.

Referring to the attacks on Holey Artisan Bakery and Solakia eid prayers, the report reads: “Although Islamist extremist groups, including the Islamic State or ISIS, claimed responsibility for most of these killings, the government blamed domestic groups, and said some had links to the main opposition political parties.

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“Thousands of people were arrested, and dozens of alleged members or supporters of extremist groups are said to have been killed in armed encounters.”

In the report, the Washington-based human rights body reviewed human rights practices in more than 90 countries.

In his introductory essay, HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth examines the rise of leaders who, claiming to speak for “the people” amid rising public discontent over the status quo, reject rights as an impediment to their perception of the majority will.

Roth sees such unrestrained majoritarianism and assaults on government checks and balances as “perhaps the greatest danger today to the future of democracy in the West.”

Human Rights Watch

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