The United States has said that they are deeply concerned by the reports of mass arrests of thousands of opposition members ahead of general election in Bangladesh and reports of torture in prison.
The US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller made the remark while answering to questions during the department’s regular press briefing on Wednesday.
The spokesperson also said that the deep fakes in election-related disinformation in Bangladesh were a part of using artificial intelligence to manipulate and influence democratic processes.
The questioner mentioned that six international human rights organization urge the international community to stand for the protection of fundamental rights in Bangladesh as the regime makes the whole country in prison ahead of ‘so-called’ general election of banning political activities, except election campaign from December 18.
He wanted to know the response from the spokesperson on the issue.
‘..we are deeply concerned by the reports of mass arrests of thousands of opposition members and reports of torture in prison. We urge all sides to exercise restraint and avoid violence.’ Miller said.
‘We urge the Government of Bangladesh to work with all stakeholders to create conditions in which all may participate in the pre-election and election environment freely, without fear of violence or retribution. It is our belief that a healthy democracy benefits from a variety of voices speaking freely, engaged in dialogue and discussion in an exchange about the issues of the day,’ he said.
The questioner also wanted to know the State Department’s stance on the investigative report by Financial Times published on Wednesday, which reported that Sheikh Hasina’s government in Bangladesh orchestrated a planned propaganda campaign involving fake news, fake videos, using artificial intelligence tools against the United States and Bangladesh opposition political parties in the context of upcoming ‘dummy election’.
‘So we have seen the concerning news of deep fakes in election-related disinformation in Bangladesh. It’s part of a worrying trend around the globe of using AI to manipulate and influence democratic processes,’ Matthew Miller said.