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Irish MEPs call for upcoming elections in Bangladesh to be free and fair

The four Fine Gael MEPs, Brian Hayes, Deirdre Clune, Sean Kelly and Mairead McGuinness have said today that the European Parliament is following the political situation in Bangladesh very closely.

“We take very seriously the reports on the violations of the rights of freedom of expression and on extra-judicial killings. There is a significant Bangladeshi community in Ireland which is extremely concerned about the political situation in Bangladesh.

“We recently met with a delegation from the Opposition party in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Their account of the political and social turmoil in Bangladesh is extremely concerning.

“The General Election is due to be held in Bangladesh by next year at the latest, but currently, the political climate is completely unstable.

“The former Prime Minister and Leader of BNP, Khaleda Zia is currently in prison awaiting trial. We call on authorities in Bangladesh to release the opposition leader or to immediately bring forward charges relating to the alleged crime.

“We believe it’s important that the BNP participate in the upcoming General Election. We also believe that the EU should send an observation mission.

“We will continue to follow political developments in Bangladesh.  We believe in the universal value of democracy and human rights. The Irish Government is also following developments very closely.

“The upcoming elections will be under an international spotlight and we urge the Bangladesh authorities to work towards providing a fair and transparent election process.”

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