Electoral Violence Against Bangladesh’s Religious Minorities: Challenges and the Way Forward
As Bangladesh prepares to hold its 11th Parliamentary Elections on December 30, 2018, many have expressed a fear of potential electoral violence against minority communities, citing the country’s history of electoral turbulence. The Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN) released a report to provide historical context to electoral violence in Bangladesh, outline possible tensions, and highlight steps civil society and government can take to mitigate violence.
The report notes that while the election in 2008 was not without incident, “preventative actions taken by the government, CSOs, and the media” ensured that most potential issues were effectively dealt with. However, the 2014 election “in which little efforts were made to mitigate potential violence, was marred by historically high levels of violence” against the Hindu minority and indigenous communities. With just two weeks until the election, already dozens have been injured and two killed in election-related protests. Preventing further violence “will require concerted efforts by all stakeholders,” the report warns. Read it herefor the ADRN’s full context and recommendations.