"We want to see Bangladeshi citizens able to participate in a democratic process," State Department Spokesman John Kirby said yesterday.

"We still want to see human rights observed and freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Bangladesh, as we want to see it elsewhere," he said. "So we still have these very real concerns, and that hasn't changed," Kirby said. There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent weeks especially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners.

A 65-year-old Muslim Sufi preacher was hacked to death by unidentified machete-wielding assailants in northwest Bangladesh, two weeks after a liberal university professor was
killed in a similar attack claimed by the dreaded ISIS terror group.

The country's first gay magazine editor was brutally murdered along with a friend in his flat in Dhaka by Islamists two days after the professor's murder. Less than three weeks ago, a Hindu tailor was hacked to death by machete-wielding ISIS militants in his shop in central Bangladesh.

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