Bangladesh. The 2009 revolt in a semi-military border union when 74 people were killed, most of the higher commanders, began to have their legal aftermath. Several hundred lower-level soldiers – out of a total of about 3,500 defendants – were jailed for up to seven years. Trials continued throughout the year. In July, there were also prosecutions against 824 people in responsible positions who risk the death penalty. The revolving force of Bangladesh Rifles changed its name to Border Guards Bangladesh and received new uniforms.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Bangladesh has a population of 161.4 million (2018). Bangladesh’s troubled past is still affecting the judiciary. In January, five former officers of the 1975 assassinations were executed on the country’s first President Mujibur Rahman and 19 other people, including almost his entire family. They had been sentenced to death in 1998 and have now eliminated all appeals. Six other conspirators have disappeared.
In March, a special war crimes tribunal was created to deal with the aftermath of the Bangladesh independence war in 1971. In July, four leading members of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami were indicted for cooperation with the Pakistani army associations that carried out mass murders of civilians. The establishment of the court aroused controversy both within the country and in international legal circles, where it was feared to be a tool for the government’s settlement with the opposition.
Prime Minister Hasina Wajed, the daughter of Mujibur Rahman, was acquitted in May on the last of 15 charges of corruption. All the charges were brought while she was in opposition and touched on events during her last term in power 1996-2001.
Islamic activity continued to worry the authorities. In April, the leader of the banned party Hizb ut-Tahrir was arrested for terrorist attacks plans, in August five members of similarly banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahidin Bangladesh were sentenced to life imprisonment for bombing in 2005 and in July the government ordered the country’s mosques and libraries to remove all the books of Abu al-Ala Mawdudi, founder of Jamaate Islami and death since 1971. He was a leading Islamic ideologue and his writings are considered by the government to be invigorating.
Hundreds of thousands of textile workers went on strike in July for the requirement that the minimum allowable monthly salary should be raised from about SEK 150 to at least 450. Swedish H&M. The government only agreed to raise the minimum wage to about SEK 270, and in December new strikes and unrest broke out. Four people were shot dead by police and many were injured in clashes. Despite the conflict, a strong increase in textile exports contributed to Bangladesh’s record growth of 6.7 percent during the year.
Nearly two years of relative political peace was broken in November, when police, on the orders of a court, ousted opposition leader Khaleda Zia from the housing she had been leased by the government since her husband President Zia ur-Rahman was assassinated in 1981. Strikes and clashes hit most major cities during a day.