Languages
Page last updated at 06:06 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 07:06 UK

Bangladesh Islamist group banned

An alleged militant (in blue shirt) being arrested in Dhaka (File photo)
Bangladesh says it is determined to eradicate Islamic extremism

The Islamist organisation, Hizb-ut Tahrir has been banned in Bangladesh, the home ministry has announced.

Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar said the government feared Hizb-ut Tahrir posed a threat to peaceful life.

It is the first time that an Islamist group which has not been implicated in any terrorist acts been outlawed.

The group has condemned the ban and pledged that it will not be silenced by a government it said was guilty of a "pro-imperialist stance".

Officials say that Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in at least 20 countries and topped a government list of about 10 groups suspected of plotting subversive acts in Bangladesh.

Mutiny

"The government has decided to ban Hizb-ut Tahrir because they are against the interest of law and pose a threat to public security," Mr Sikdar said.

Hizb-ut Tahrir logo
Hizb-ut Tahrir has been active in Bangladeshi universities

Hizb-ut Tahrir has been active in Bangladesh for the past eight years.

Nearly 40 members of the organisation were arrested earlier in the year after they were alleged to have distributed leaflets in support of a mutiny by border guards in which over 50 army officers were killed.

Mr Sikdar said that intelligence agencies had been monitoring the activities of 12 organisations.

Out of those, four were banned earlier - they were suspected of involvement in what the government calls "terrorist" and "anti-state" activities.

The head of Hizb-ut Tahrir in Bangladesh, Professor Mohiuddin Ahmed, denied his organisation was involved in terrorist activities.

He said the group believed that terrorism and other violent acts were totally contrary to the teachings of Islam.

Professor Ahmed said that such action by the government had failed to silence his organisation in the past and would not succeed in the present.

''I can tell you clearly that whenever a repressive government in any part of the world has banned us, we have not stayed quiet," he said.

"We have always raised our voice against imperialists. We will continue to expose this government's pro-imperialist stance."

The home secretary said that intelligence agencies would continue their surveillance of Hizb-ut Tahrir to make sure it did not re-emerge under a different name.

The BBC Bengali editor Sabir Mustafa says that Hizb-ut Tahrir - which has well known global links - has been active lately in universities and the government may well have been worried about its increasing influence among students.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Bangladeshi 'militants' arrested
28 Sep 09 |  South Asia
UK to probe Bangladesh arms haul
25 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Weapons haul at Bangladesh school
24 Mar 09 |  South Asia
'Militant link' to Dhaka mutiny
12 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Explosives seized in Bangladesh
26 Dec 08 |  South Asia
Charity chief focus of arms probe
26 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Threats spark Dhaka schools alert
20 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Bangladeshi 'militant' arrested
17 Nov 08 |  South Asia

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific