Khaleda Zia
Senior BNP source tells IBTimes UK that the former Prime Minister remains ill but stable Reuters

Bangladesh's opposition leader Khaleda Zia is stable after suffering from a "vomiting attack" as police continue to lock the former Prime Minister in her party's offices.

Zia, head of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), exhibited the symptoms after security forces pepper sprayed the BNP's offices in Dhaka.

The 69-year-old required medical assistance and oxygen after the incident.

A senior BNP source told IBTimes UK that the party leader was stable but still felt ill after the episode.

"Her health is not too great. There was so much pepper spray that it hit her mouth and her eyes are very sore," said a special adviser to Tarique Rahman, the senior vice chairman of the BNP and son of Zia.

Humayun Kobir called on the international community to do more as the South Asian country moved toward a "one-party state".

The incident occurred after Zia attempted to leave the party's offices during the third day of a blockade from police.

The Bangladesh government, led by Sheikh Hasina, also banned all protests in the capital.

The move pre-empted demonstrations to be held on the anniversary of last year's parliamentary elections, which the BNP and other opposition parties boycotted over fears that the vote would be rigged by the ruling Awami League.

The BNP have since dubbed January 5 "Democracy Killing Day" after Awami League leader and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina saw her unopposed party sweep to victory.

The Bangladesh Election Commission said that less than 40% of the electorate turned out to vote as clashes between police and protesters broke out across the country.

Bangladesh police continue to lockdown the country and arrested the boss of a private TV channel on pornography charges after it aired a speech from Rahman, who is based in London.

Abdus Salam, chairman of Ekushey TV (ETV), was detained under the country's Pornography Control Act 2012.

The authorities said a woman filed a complaint in November 2014, alleging that that the new channel vilified her and aired pornographic images of her.

But the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a US based press freedom organisation, condemned the arrest of Salam and called on the police to release him.

"We call on Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release ETV's owner, Salam, and restore access to the channel," said Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator for CPJ.

"These trumped-up charges are the latest attempt to silence opposition voices under the rule of Hasina and do not bode well for Bangladesh's democracy."