Mishu in police custody

File photo of Moshrefa Mishu, president of Garment Workers Unity Forum.
File photo of Moshrefa Mishu, president of Garment Workers Unity Forum.

Moshrefa Mishu, president, Garments Sromik Oikko Forum, who was leading the fast-unto-death hunger strike of Tuba Group workers demanding 3 months arrear wages, festival allowance & overtime since July 28 was picked up by police today post-midday. She is being held by Detective Branch police at Minto Road. There is concern for her safety as?she has been remanded (Bangladeshi euphemism for police torture) earlier, and has narrowly escaped attempts on her life. Please raise your voice to demand her immediate release, and immediate payment of all workers’ dues.
Saydia Gulrukh (sitting) in Badda Thana where she was detained after being beaten by police and government thugs. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Saydia Gulrukh (sitting) in Badda Thana where she was detained after being beaten by police and government thugs. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Yesterday the 6th August, police and government goons carried out an unprovoked attack on garment workers and activists.
Armoured truck outside Tuba Garments
Armoured truck outside Tuba Garments. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

More?Photos at Tuba Garments
Related links:
Earlier updates on Mishu by Rahnuma Ahmed
Statement of protest for earlier arrest of Mishu
Earlier hospitalisation of Mishu after being beaten?by police
 

Let me see the world just one more time

They said I would need a mask. ?The smell? they said. It was five days into the accident.
But it was no accident. A building built illegally, of faulty construction, showing signs of rupture, had been made their prison. It eventually became their grave. More money needed to be made.

Stitched image of Rana Plaza on the night of 29th April 2013. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Stitched image of Rana Plaza on the night of 29th April 2013. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Continue reading “Let me see the world just one more time”

Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt?

By David Bacon, The Progressive.

Seven hundred workers have died in factory fires in Bangladesh since 2005, including the 112 who burned to death or jumped to their deaths at the Tazreen factory on November 24th. Now hundreds more bodies are being pulled from the rubble of the Rana Plaza building, in an industrial district 18 miles from Dhaka.
At Tazreen the owners didn?t build fire escapes. They?d locked the doors on the upper floors ?to prevent theft,? trapping workers in the flames.
At Rana Plaza, factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside. Continue reading “Who Pays the Real Price of Your Shirt?”

MASS MURDER AT SAVAR

The stench of rotting corpses
by rahnuma ahmed

It’s past midnight now, I took a shower after returning home but it refuses to go away.
I can smell it on my wet hair as strands blow over my face while the fan whirs above. I can smell it on my nightwear and, as I rest my chin on my clasped hands, I can smell the stench of rotting corpses and bloated bodies which stretches from Rana Plaza to Adhar Chandra school grounds in Savar ? rise up from my fingers.
It has not only come home with me, all that scrubbing as I showered has proven to be of little use.
It is not the dead workers who are to be blamed. The stench rises from, as Vijay Prasad puts it, the terror of capitalism.

Volunteers looking for corpses. Rana Plaza. Savar.   H. Asad
Volunteers looking for corpses. Rana Plaza. Savar. Photo: K M. Asad

Continue reading “MASS MURDER AT SAVAR”

Eating up children

by rahnuma ahmed

Local residents help firefighters battle the deadly factory blaze at Smart Exports, Mohammadpur, Dhaka, January 26, 2013 ?AP
Local residents help firefighters battle the deadly factory blaze at Smart Exports, Mohammadpur, Dhaka, January 26, 2013 ?AP

Josna, isn’t Josna feeling cold?
I didn’t know what to say as I sat beside Josna’s mother on the curb, outside the Emergency department of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). It was slightly chilly, the last cold wave of January was making its appearance felt.
The breeze seemed to blow away her words, but only as far as outside appearances went. They clung to the inner recesses of my mind.
I shivered, but not because of the cold. Josna, 16 years old, a garment factory worker at Smart Exports in Mohammadpur Beribadh area, was lying cold, on a metal trolley inside the morgue. Continue reading “Eating up children”

Flash protest at five star hotel by Rokeya Bahini

In memory of Tazreen Fashion’s workers
Monday, December 24, 2012

Rokeya Bahini organised a flash protest at Sonargaon Hotel at midday today.  Members of the Bahini flashed open a banner, “Justice for Tazreen’s Workers” in the lobby of the five star hotel. The hotel authority illegally detained members of the Bahini, subjected them to questioning and took away their banner.

Rokeya Bahini at Sonargaon Hotel

The protest was in rememberance of the workers who were burnt to death at Tazreen Fashions in Nischintapur a month ago, on November 24th.  The government and the BGMEA put the death toll at 112 but family members of missing workers, left labour organisations and independent activists insist the figure is much higher. Both the government and the BGMEA are colluding in suppressing the exact number of workers who died and we are furious at the fact that the factory owner has not yet been arrested.  Continue reading “Flash protest at five star hotel by Rokeya Bahini”

NISHCHINTAPUR TRAGEDY: Letter from an unborn child

by Saydia Gulrukh

Honourable prime minister,
I AM an unborn citizen of Bangladesh. I was killed before I was born. My mother was twenty-two weeks and three days pregnant with me when fire broke out at Tazreen Fashions in Nischintapur.
I was killed before I was born.

Ultrasonic images of pregnant Mimi (pseudonym) taken less than a fortnight before fire broke out at Tazreen Fashions on November 24, 2012 burning to death 112 workers, according to the government and the BGMEA; the actual death toll, according to family members of missing workers, labour organisations and activists, is much higher.

Honourable prime minister,
My mother, Mimi (pseudonym) worked as an operator in the sewing section of Tazreen Fashions. My father, Rakibul (pseudonym), works as a helper in a local bus company. They had met and fallen in love in Nischintapur?s factory surroundings, they got married at a nearby Kazi office (marriage registrar?s office). These days, say neighbours, they had been very happy, their joy radiated as does that of expectant parents. But it was short-lived.
I was killed before I was born. Continue reading “NISHCHINTAPUR TRAGEDY: Letter from an unborn child”

Press statement: BGMEA is responsible for the deaths of Tazreen's workers

BGMEA is a giant propaganda machinery which protects killers

—————————————————————————————————

Organised by Rokeya Bahini

11:00 am, Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In front of BGMEA Bhaban, Panthopoth Link Road, Karwan Bazar

Dear journalist brothers and sisters,
Many garment workers died on the evening of November 24th when fire broke out in Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia’s Nischintapur. The exact death toll is still unknown. According to the government, 112 workers had died but many family members were unable to identify their beloved ones as the flesh had burnt away leaving behind only charred bones and skeletons. Fifty three unidentified bodies have been buried in Jurain graveyard. But several investigative reports have concluded that the death toll is higher. Some of us have conducted preliminary research in Nischintapur’s Buripara at our own initiative, and, we too, have been forced to reach the same conclusion. The government and the BGMEA should immediately have launched a serious drive to ascertain the exact number of those who have died, but instead they displayed a callous indifference which amounts to nothing short of criminal negligence. Continue reading “Press statement: BGMEA is responsible for the deaths of Tazreen's workers”

The cost of cheap clothes

The burnt out corpses of the sewing machines all laid out in a grid, had the appearance of a graveyard. For many of the workers at Tazreen Fashions, that’s exactly what it was. Nischintopur. Savar. Dhaka. Bangladesh. 3rd December 2012. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Bales of cotton on either side of the stairs were in flames that workers had to go through to escape the fire. Nischintopur. Savar. Dhaka. Bangladesh. 3rd December 2012. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Stairs on either side of the huge hallway were the only exits to the factory. Nischintopur. Savar. Dhaka. Bangladesh. 3rd December 2012. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Continue reading “The cost of cheap clothes”

NISCHINTAPUR DEATHS: Killers at large

by rahnuma ahmed

Grieving for lost ones. Tazreen fashion, Nischintapur, Ashulia, November 25, 2012 ? Taslima Akhter

EVERYTHING SEEMED to come to a standstill as the death toll in the factory fire at Nischintapur kept rising. Death isn’t a question of numbers, even a single death which could have been prevented, is one too many. But still, the numbers were staggering.
Sunday’s newspaper headlines had said, nine. But as the day unfolded, the death toll shot up unbelievably; the numbers were conflicting — 110, no 124, later, down to 111. They still conflict, for, family members say some loved ones are still missing.
Numbing numbers. I stare at them blankly. I look at my partner Shahidul and wonder, what, if he’d been one of the 111 or so dead? I reach out and touch him. No, its nothing, I say, when he looks up. Continue reading “NISCHINTAPUR DEATHS: Killers at large”