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EU presidency urges civil rights

india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 17:01 IST
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Germany, in its role as president of the EU, called for a "full restoration" of civil and political rights in Bangladesh as the new head of the Asian country's interim government took charge on Friday.

"The European Union urges the full restoration of civil and political rights to the people of Bangladesh at the earliest opportunity," said the statement.

Bangladesh's President Iajuddin Ahmed on Thursday declared a state of emergency after delaying elections and stepping down amid accusations of political bias.

He was replaced on Friday by Fakhruddin Ahmed, the former governor of the central bank of Bangladesh, who is considered a neutral.

"The EU urges all election stakeholders to carry their responsibility to ensure national and international confidence in the democratic process in Bangladesh," said the statement.

The interim government also late on Thursday slapped a ban on all television news by the country's eight private television channels and restricted newspaper coverage.

"The EU underlines the need for a judicious approach by the caretaker government to the present restrictions imposed on fundamental rights and media freedom and welcomes the neutral position of the Armed Forces and expects them to maintain it".

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