Manufacturing a Climate of Fear
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Beginning mid-2015, Bangladesh experienced a dramatic decline in the space for dissent, and freedom of expression and assembly became highly restricted. The main opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was pushed to the corner after its mass movement failed and was weakened as its leaders faced frivolous criminal changes. The overall social and political climate became more restrictive. Various methods, such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, were employed to create a climate of fear among the citizens. Media was muzzled through co-optation and unwritten censorship. Existing draconian laws were used and new restrictive laws were introduced to curb online activities. Two non-partisan grassroots movements were quelled through heavy-handed measures. This chapter describes the overall fearful situation before the election cycle began.
KeywordsFear Media Enforced disappearance Extrajudicial killing Digital Security Act
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