Bangladesh urged to drop charges against garment activists

An international human rights group has accused Bangladesh authorities of harassing and intimidating garment worker leaders and rights activists, saying 34 have been arrested since December.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement Wednesday that the arrests were made on politically motivated charges.

Protests broke out in December in an industrial zone near Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, demanding higher wages. Factory owners rejected the demand and temporarily closed many factories, and police began making arrests.