Khaleda Zia

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the imprisonment of the main opposition leader in Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia, on political stability in that country; and what representations he has made to his Bangladeshi counterpart on that matter.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We continue to stress to the Government of Bangladesh, both in public and in private, the importance of respect for human rights and the rule of law. We expect those in detention including Khaleda Zia to be treated in accordance with Bangladesh's international commitments on human rights, and we regularly engage with the Government of Bangladesh on the treatment of those in detention and on the integrity and independence of the judicial process.

The Foreign Secretary has written to Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen this year to express our concerns about the general election in December 2018 and to encourage the Government of Bangladesh to maintain dialogue with opposition parties and civil society.

The Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific reiterated these concerns and the importance of respect for human rights when he met the Prime Minister and ministers during his visit to Bangladesh in April 2019.

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