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Bangladesh backsliding on press freedom

(CPJ/IFEX) - June 14, 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Madeline Earp/CPJ Senior Asia Research Associate

"Bangladeshi democracy [may be] doomed to more of the same," International Crisis Group wrote in a recent commentary. They are describing a longstanding pattern of antagonism between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP), which the Crisis Group describes as "a pernicious cycle of zero-sum politics." If the political situation descends into unrest, journalists covering it will suffer.

The latest cause for concern is the Awami League's adoption of a fifteenth amendment to the constitution, which does away with the need for a neutral, caretaker government to oversee general elections, according to International Crisis Group and news reports. The amendment also states that criticizing the constitution now comes with a charge of sedition.

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