Bangladeshi ex-PM faces exile

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Bangladeshi political leader Sheikh Hasina has been prevented from returning to her home country at Heathrow airport.

The Awami League leader and former prime minister was barred from boarding her flight to Bangladesh by British Airways staff acting under instructions from Dhaka's temporary government.

The military-backed interim administration was introduced after Bangladeshi president Iajuddin Ahmed postponed elections due on January 22nd because of violent unrest.

Rather than preside over the elections, as was its original remit, the temporary government has pledged to crack down on corruption in Bangladeshi politics.

It charged Ms Hasina, along with several others, of the murder of four protesters who died during unrest in December last year and has now issued a warrant for her arrest should she find her way back to Bangladesh.

Ms Hasina says she wants to return to Dhaka to defend herself against the charges laid but it now appears she may not be given the opportunity to do so.

Meanwhile her biggest political rival, Khaleda Zia of the Bangladeshi Nationalist party (BNP), also appears to be facing exile.

Her impending forced departure for Saudi Arabia follows months of detention in house arrest conditions.

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