The leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s largest Muslim party has been arrested days after her announced that the party would join protests demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Shafiqur Rahman was arrested in his residence around 1am on December 13th.
Jamaat is the country’s third-largest political party and was an ally of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party between 2001-2006. Jamaat has also been banned from contesting elections since 2012. After Hasina came into power in 2009, Jamaat’s leadership was arrested and tried for war crimes, dating back to the 1971 independence war against Pakistan. Five of its top leaders were hanged between 2013 and 2016. The Jamaat statement released after the arresting of Rahman, is that efforts are ongoing to destroy the leadership of the party. The arrest came amid a crackdown by the government after Saturday when tens of thousands of BNP leaders and supporters read a protest against increasing fuel prices and the cost of living in the country.