Leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced a series of nationwide protests on Wednesday, September 5, to demand the release of their imprisoned chairperson, Khaleda Zia. The first demonstration will be held on Saturday, October 8, with supporters forming human chains in major urban areas from 11:00 to 12:00 (local time). Similar protests will be held on Monday, September 10, during the same time period. In Dhaka, BNP supporters will gather at the district headquarters and in front of the National Press Club. On Wednesday, September 12, a symbolic hunger strike will be held from 10:00 until 12:00. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are possible near the 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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