Some 24 eminent citizens in the country have termed the police actions, including checking up citizens' cell phones and searching bodies, in suppressing dissent and the opposition political parties utterly anti-democratic and human rights.  

They bitterly condemned such police conduct in a joint statement issued on Sunday. 

The statement read, "The right to assembly is our fundamental right granted by the constitution. We are urging the government to refrain from violating these rights. We are demanding [the government] to refrain from repression and torture against the leaders and activists of the opposition parties. We are demanding the immediate release of BNP leaders and activists who were arrested without proper evidence."

In the statement, the eminent citizens have condemned the repression the government carried out centering the BNP rally in Dhaka on 10 December. 

In particular, during the party’s preparatory meeting, the incidents of attacking BNP office by police force, shooting a person down by police, arresting BNP leaders and activists en masse, including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, are the gross violation of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.   

The eminent citizens who gave this statement are former adviser of the caretaker government M Hafizuddin Khan, human rights activist Hameeda Hossain, founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra Zafrullah Chowdhury, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, SUJON secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar, professor Anu Muhammad, lawyer Salma Ali, photographer Shahidul Alam, human rights activists Shirin Haque, Sharmin Murshid, Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik, Subrata Chowdhury, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Dhaka University professor Asif Nazrul, Jahangirnagar University professors Mirza Taslima Sultana and Nasreen Khandkar, Chittagong University professor Maidul Islam, human rights activists Noor Khan, Rehnuma Ahmed, Hana Sams Ahmed, Naser Bakhtear, researchers Veena D'Costa, Saidia Gulrukh and Rozina Begum.