High Prices, Low Faith

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Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka over the weekend to protest soaring prices while demanding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resign, CNN reported.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) organized Saturday’s protest, saying that the prime minister had failed to address rising fuel prices and costs of living.

The weekend demonstrations are part of a series of protests seen over the past week. The government responded by arresting BNP members and two of the party’s top leaders. The opposition party told Al Jazeera that at least 2,000 BNP activists and leaders had been arrested ahead of Saturday’s demonstrations.

Earlier in the week, at least one man died during clashes between protesters and police in Dhaka. Authorities, meanwhile, have blamed the BNP for “creating chaos.”

Human rights organizations, on the other hand, have condemned the government’s harsh response to the protests.

Bangladesh has seen skyrocketing prices, resulting in the devaluing of the currency and declining orders for products from Western nations, which has caused the country’s forex reserves to drop to $26.3 billion, down from $45.5 billion just a year earlier.

Hasina’s ruling Awami League, in power since 2009, has also come under criticism for its heavy-handed approach against political dissent. The prime minister has also had two national elections marred by opposition boycotts and electoral irregularities under her watch.

The Bangladesh Election Commission has not set an exact date for the next general election, which by law must happen by the end of 2023.

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