Sever ties with violence users: Resume talks – Oppn, Govt urged

Sever ties with violence users: Resume talks – Oppn, Govt urged

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Dhaka – International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based independent organisation, in its latest report released on Monday suggested Bangladeshi opposition parties to sever ties with political
allies who use violence to destabilise the government.
It also suggested opposition to commit to peaceful opposition, including by preventing party activists from using violence to subvert the political order.“The BNP now appears less willing to resort to violence to unseat the government; its decision to re-enter the political mainstream gives the government an opportunity it should exploit by urgently resuming dialogue with the opposition,” said the Crisis Group which works to
prevent conflicts worldwide.
The group in a report titled ‘Political Conflict, Extremism and Criminal Justice in Bangladesh’ also urged the Bangladesh government to ‘respect’ the constitutional right to free speech and dissent. “Withdraw all cases against journalists, human rights groups and other civil society actors that are based on vague and dubious grounds,” it said.
The group also recommended withdrawing the 2014 national broadcast policy and remove restrictions on online expression in the Information and Technology Act.
It recommended the government commit to accepting legitimate political opposition and dissent, including by ending use of the criminal justice system to target political critics; and respond
positively to the BNP’s decision to refrain from violence.
The report observed that the permissive legal environment, however, is creating opportunities for extremist outfits to regroup, manifested in the killings of secular bloggers and foreigners and
attacks on sectarian and religious minorities in 2015.
The government’s reaction to rising extremism, including arrest and prosecution of several suspects ‘without due process’ and transparency, is fuelling alienation that these groups can further exploit.
“By using force and denying justice, it also provides extremist organizations an opportunity to exploit the resultant alienation and justify their anti-state agenda,” the report reads.

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