Right to protest, right to association and freedom of expression are constitutional rights guaranteed respectively under the articles 37, 38 and 39 of Bangladesh constitution. Arbitrary arrest, detention, threat, harassment of human rights activists, as well as legal, administrative and regulatory repression of civil society organisations, are clear violations of the commitments Bangladesh made by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international human rights standards. Government must ensure that any measures taken should be legitimate, proportionate, necessary and compatible with international human rights standards, he added.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) inter alia work to counterbalance the power of the state, oppose authoritarianism and ensure rule of law. CSOs work as watchdogs and help to promote good governance and accountability. Instead of addressing problems raised by the human rights activists and CSOs, sometimes, the government tries to persecute them.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the government to ensure an enabling regulatory and political environment free from chilling effects, threats and attacks for civil society organisations (CSOs).

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