Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz said to the Voice of America (VOA) that police in Bangladesh have implicated “tens of thousands of innocent people”, including those who are physically disabled and children, in “frivolous and fictitious” criminal cases.
In the report titled ‘Bangladesh Police Accused of Harassment With Fake Cases’ the VOA reporter informs that although police insist that these cases are for violence-related incidents in recent years, the opposition and rights activists say most of the cases, allegedly involving bombing and rioting, were made up. Opposition parties claim most of those targeted were their leaders, workers and supporters, and that the government used the law enforcement agency to crack down on its political rivals.
Riaz has criticized the government for the heavy handed measures. Riaz said, “The jails are holding more than their capacity. When innocent people with no political connections are facing so many cases and experiencing such traumatic situation, we can understand what the opposition activists are going through for the past years. It shows how authoritarian the government has become and the extent of persecution of any dissent.”
Professor Riaz has also published a commentary in the Daily Star on the recently held students union election of the Dhaka University, Bangladesh’s largest public university. The election was marred by irregularities and Riaz said that University authorities’ failure to ensure a fair election has tainted the reputation of the University.