ANFREL, FORUM-ASIA host webinar on situation in Bangladesh ahead of 2024 polls

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) hosted a webinar to help understand the political and electoral environment in Bangladesh ahead of the scheduled general election on 7 January 2024.

Three speakers shed light on the country's situation including Sanjid Islam of Maayer Daak, journalist Saydia Gulrukh, and researcher and author Mubashar Hasan.

Sanjid Islam provided insights on cases of enforced disappearances and opposition and critical voices fleeing the country amid the government crackdown while Saydia Gulrukh shared cases of attacks and threats against journalists in Bangladesh as well as the case of media capture and bias towards the ruling government. Mubashar Hasan spoke about the role of the judiciary in further perpetuating the oppression of dissenting voices in the country.

While the speakers recognized that the current conditions in the country does not provide an environment that would foster free, fair and democratic elections as the trend suggest that the people of Bangladesh would continue to not significantly participate in the process as in previous electoral exercise, they called for a more inclusive electoral environment that is participatory and fair and support for the international community to achieve genuine democratic elections.



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