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U.S. Department of State
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007
The government’s human rights record remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous serious abuses. Extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, and politically motivated violence were among the most egregious violations. Security forces acted with impunity, and committed acts of physical and psychological torture. In addition violence against journalists continued, as did infringement on religious freedoms. Government corruption remained a significant problem. Violence against women and children also was a major problem, as was trafficking in persons.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
The law establishes Islam as the state religion and also stipulates the right, subject to law, public order, and morality, to practice the religion of one’s choice. The government generally respected this right in practice. Although the government was secular, religion influenced politics. Discrimination against members of religious minorities existed at both the governmental and societal level, and religious minorities were disadvantaged in practice in such areas as access to government jobs, political office, and access to justice.
Government protection of Ahmadiyyas improved, although discrimination continued. The government ban on publishing of Ahmadiyya literature continued to be stayed by the high court, effectively allowing Ahmadiyyas to publish their materials (see section 2.a.).
Societal Abuses and Discrimination
Discrimination against Ahmadiyyas, Hindus, and Christians occurred during the year.
On June 23, approximately 1,500 members of the anti-Ahmadiyya organization International Khatme Nabuwat Movement Bangladesh (IKNMB) attempted to seize the Ashkona Ahmadiyya mosque in Uttara. The government deployed over 3,000 police to prevent violence and cordon off the Ahmadiyya complex. Eventually, the demonstrators left the Uttara area and attempted to block the main entrance to Dhaka-Zia International Airport. Police dispersed the demonstrators, injuring 20.
On October 6, IKNMB demonstrators attempted to seize the Ahmadiyya mosque in Nakhalpara in Dhaka. Police prevented the protesters from approaching the mosque, and the demonstrators dispersed without major incident.
Police arrested eight persons throughout the year in connection with the June 2005 arson and bombings at Ahmadiyya mosques in Nator, Brahhmanbaria, and Bhadugarh.
For a more detailed discussion, see the 2006 International Religious Freedom Report.
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Disability, Language, or Social Status
The law prohibits discrimination; however, the government did not strongly enforce laws aimed at eliminating discrimination. Women, children, minority groups, and persons with disabilities often confronted social and economic disadvantages.