Leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have called for further demonstrations to take place nationwide on Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, to demand the release from prison of opposition leader Khaleda Zia. According to local sources, a hunger strike, along with associated demonstrations, is being organized from 10:00 until 12:00 (local time) on Wednesday. The BNP has also called for nationwide rallies to take place on Thursday. In Dhaka, demonstrators are expected to rally around the Old Central Jail. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated near all protest sites.
Zia was jailed for five years in February 2018 in connection with an embezzlement scheme worth USD 250,000. Her BNP supporters claim the case is politically motivated and a bid to keep Zia out of the next general elections, scheduled for December 2018.
Individuals present in Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh are advised to stay away from all public gatherings and political rallies as a precaution and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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