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  • More than 11,000 people were arrested regarding the brutal killings in Bangladesh
  • Human Rights Watch said police are accepting bribes to release many of those detained
  • Bangladesh authorities blame home-grown militants – and in some cases the political opposition for the violence

The recent sweep of arrests in Bangladesh have caught the attention of Human rights experts.

Bangladesh officials say they have arrested more than 11,000 people in a sudden and drastic response to the wave of brutal killings by suspected Islamist militants.


But New York-based Rights group Human Rights Watch is skeptical that this large number of arrests is founded on adequate investigations, or that this will effectively reduce violence in the country.

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“The mass arrest of thousands upon thousands within the course of a few days is a familiar scene in Bangladesh, but does little to inspire confidence either that these ghastly killings will stop or that due process will be followed,” said Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch’s Asia director.

“After a slow and complacent response to these horrific attacks, Bangladesh’s security forces are falling back on old habits and rounding up the ‘usual suspects’ instead of doing the hard work of carrying out proper investigations,” he continued.

The statement released by Human Rights Watch Friday, June 17 cited media reports that say police are accepting bribes to release many of those detained.

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Image Source: The Irish Times (AFP/STRSTR/AFP/Getty)

Police have arrested thousands of people since last Friday in a crackdown on the violence that has targeted more than 30 victims in Bangladesh since early last year, including bloggers, gay rights activists, Christians and Hindus. Islamic State extremists have claimed responsibility for more than 20 of the killings.

In the past week, IS militants have claimed responsibility for the deaths of a Hindu monastery worker, an elderly Hindu priest and a Christian merchant. All three were hacked to death. The Muslim wife of a key counter terrorism official was also stabbed and shot dead.

Bangladesh authorities blame home-grown militants – and in some cases the political opposition – for the violence even after IS militants have claimed responsibility.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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