On 17 November 2018, Bangladeshi human rights organisation Odhikar reported at a press conference that it is facing indimidation and a smear campaign. A series of fabricated media reports criticising the organisation began after the Election Commission of Bangladesh abruptly cancelled the registration of Odhikar as an election observer on 8 November 2018, without any notice.
On 20 November 2018, human rights defender and photographer Shahidul Alam was released from Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj, following 108 days of detention. The High Court had granted him bail on 15 November 2018. Shahidul Alam was detained at his home by members of the Detective Branch of Police on 5 August 2018. He appeared in court the following day, where he was charged with “spreading propaganda and false information against the government”.
On 21 February 2018, 64-year old human rights defender Isroilzhon Kholdarov was released after having served almost 12 years in prison.