"We urge all political parties to show restraint and to bring an immediate end to the violence. We also call on the authorities to ensure the prompt, impartial and effective investigation of all killings committed – irrespective of whether they were committed by State or non-State actors," spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.
The current unrest in Bangladesh began on January 5 on the first anniversary of the controversial 2014 parliamentary elections in the country, when Bangladesh National Party (BNP) opposition leader Khaleda Zia urged supporters to participate in anti-government rallies. In response the government imposed a ban on demonstrations in the country.
According to the spokesperson, recently over a dozen of people have been killed in clashes between opposition supporters and security forces and a number of key opposition leaders have been arrested.
"A crowded public bus was set on fire on Tuesday, burning to death four people including one child. The same day, a senior BNP advisor was shot at and his car set on fire. Yesterday, another person was killed when a bus was reportedly set ablaze in Kaliakoir, about 50 kilometres north of Dhaka," Shamdasani said.
The spokesperson stressed that the government should ensure that the detentions of key opposition leaders are not arbitrary.
On January 5, 2014, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, who had been in power since 2009, was reelected for an additional five-year term. However, the main opposition parties, including the BNP, boycotted the voting claiming the parliamentary elections were unfair.