Sunday, January 30, 2005

BANGLADESH: US Condemns Habiganj Bombing, Warns of Climate of Impunity

The State Department strongly condemned the incident, which it said
was the latest in a disturbing series of attacks on leaders of the
Bangladeshi opposition and civil society, and the second fatal attack
on an Awami League rally in six months. Department spokesman Steven
Pike called the incident an assault on the principles of free speech,
democracy and peaceful political opposition and said the Dhaka
government needs to resolve the case quickly.

29/01/2005

US Condemns Bangladesh Bombing, Warns of Climate of Impunity

The United States is strongly condemning the bomb attack on an
opposition rally in Bangladesh Thursday that killed five people
including a former cabinet member. The State Department urged quick
action by the Dhaka government to resolve the case and prevent a
climate of impunity from taking hold in the South Asian country.

The State Department is calling for speedy action by Bangladesh
authorities in bringing to justice those behind Thursday's attack,
and it is urging all political factions there in the meantime to
exercise maximum restraint.

The comments follow a grenade attack on an opposition Awami League
rally in northeastern Bangladesh Thursday that killed five people
including former Finance Minister Shah A.M.S. Kibria.

The veteran politician and diplomat, who had just finished a speech
when the attack occurred, died of multiple wounds several hours after
the incident.

It touched off violent protests by Awami League supporters near the
site of the attack, and in Dhaka.

The State Department strongly condemned the incident, which it said
was the latest in a disturbing series of attacks on leaders of the
Bangladeshi opposition and civil society, and the second fatal attack
on an Awami League rally in six months.

Department spokesman Steven Pike called the incident an assault on
the principles of free speech, democracy and peaceful political
opposition and said the Dhaka government needs to resolve the case
quickly:

"The failure to bring to justice the perpetrators of acts of
political violence fosters an intimidating climate of insecurity and
impunity that encourages further attacks," he said. "The Bangladeshi
government needs to act quickly to identify, arrest and prosecute
those responsible for political terrorism."

The Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina, who survived a grenade attack
at a Dhaka rally in August that killed more than 20 people, has
charged that the latest incident is part of a conspiracy by the
government to eliminate its opponents.

A government spokesman in Dhaka denied what he termed the unfortunate
allegation by Sheikh Hasina, and said authorities will thoroughly
investigate the attack.

Spokesman Pike said the United States reiterates its steadfast
support for Bangladesh's democracy.

He said all Bangladeshis should exercise maximum restraint, even
under what he termed these difficult circumstances, to pursue their
political objectives and search for justice peacefully.

http://www.politinfo.com/articles/article_2005_01_29_5221.html







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