UN Watch

UN monitoring situation in Bangladesh; calls maintaining calm

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on sides in Bangladesh to maintain calm in the aftermath of the jailing of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who was convicted of embezzlement, and the violent protests that have ensued, writes Arul Louis

Feb 9, 2018
By Arul Louis
 
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on sides in Bangladesh to maintain calm in the aftermath of the jailing of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who was convicted of embezzlement, and the violent protests that have ensued.
 
“We are just monitoring what the latest developments regarding this verdict and we expect that we will say something more once we have evaluated the situation,” Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for Guterres, said on Thursday answering a reporter's question about the verdict.
 
“It is too early to judge what impact this will have (on elections),” he added. “But we do continue to call for an inclusive and democratic process in the country.”
 
“We call on sides to maintain calm,” he said.
 
A court found Zia, the chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), guilty of embezzling $252,000 in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust and sentenced her on Thursday to a five-year prison term. Her son Tarique Rahman and four others were also convicted in the case and given ten years in prison.
 
Clashes were reported between security forces and her supporters who had defied security measures to escort the car taking Zia to court. In Dhaka and in other places police used teargas and rubber bullets against the protesters, according to reports.
 
Bangladesh is the second largest contributor of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations sending 7,246 troops and police.

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