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Bangladesh arrests six politicians for alleged corruption as crackdown continues

[JURIST] The Bangladeshi interim government arrested six politicians, including the son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia [Virtual Bangladesh profile], for alleged corruption Thursday, according to local media. Tarique Rahman [party profile, in Bengali] was detained at his mother's house in Dhaka. Rahman, a senior member in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party [party website], was widely expected to succeed his mother, who stepped down at the end of her term last October to make way for the interim government. The interim administration did not immediately explain the charges against Rahman.

In recent weeks, security forces have arrested more than 60 politicians [JURIST news archive], mostly members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Awami League [party website]. Transparency International [advocacy website], a Berlin-based global corruption watchdog, has listed Bangladesh as one of the world's most corrupt nations. Several major corruption trials are already scheduled to begin this month [JURIST report]. Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed [Wikipedia profile] declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] in the country on January 11 in the face of unrest over upcoming national elections and later cancelled a scheduled national poll. The interim military-backed government has promised to hold new elections, but no date has yet been set. AP has more.

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