I entered the giant graveyard. It was quiet except for my
own footsteps but, in my head, I could hear the screams. Rows of blackened
sewing machines, still in orderly lines, reinforced the sense that I was
looking at tombstones. There were no flowers here. No epitaphs. No mourners.
A fire had raged through the Tazreen Fashions garment
factory in Ashulia on 24 November 2012. Workers stationed on the building’s
third and fourth floors had rushed to the exits, only to find them locked, a
regular practice in many Bangladeshi garment factories. Fires and worker deaths
were, sadly, all-too-common. The owners justified the locking of the doors as a
‘security measure’ but workers were effectively prisoners during working hours.
As the heat and smoke built up, the panic-stricken labourers, who were unable
to break down the iron gates, rushed to the windows and somehow managed to
remove the metal grills. It was a long way down, but one by one they jumped.
Some screamed with pain as they fell; others were silent. Each landed with a
dull thud, their bodies crumpled on the uneven ground below. Possible death was
still a better choice than certain death. And some did survive.
In an interview with Shahidul Alam from his hospital bed, Chief Coordinator of Ganosamhati Andolon, Zonayed Saki, talks about the attack by police which left over fifty of his comrades injured. General Secretary of Biplobi Workers’ Party Saiful Haq was also injured. They were protesting the rigged elections on 30 December 2018. Opposition activists remember 30 December for the ‘Death of Democracy’.
I am Zonayed Saki. I am the chief coordinator of Gonosamhati Andolon.
Gonosamhati Andolon is a political party in Bangladesh working for the rights of people.
You all know that in Bangladesh on the 30th December 2018, the election that took place was a vote robbery.
There has never before been an election like this in Bangladesh. Most ballots were stamped the previous night, and they filled up the ballot boxes.
And the entire state machinery was used towards this vote robbery.
There has never been a previous instance where this has happened in Bangladesh, because the Prime Minister had, prior to the election, had discussions with all political parties of Bangladesh. Continue reading “Obituary of a Democracy”
Since the following news item was published in New Age, other prominent citizens have added themselves to the list:?Nasrin Khandoker,?Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury,?Farida Akhter,?Dr Amena Mohsin,?Ashraf Kaiser,?Shahnaz Huda,?Lubna Marium,?Nitra Samina,?Seuty Sabur
January 6, 2015
Forty-four eminent citizens on Monday in a statement protested against the police raid on New Age office in the capital on December 28, 2014.
?The operation was not a stray incident, rather it was done in a planned manner to frighten news media as the part of continuing repression on citizen rights,? they said in the statement.
The statement read, ?Without giving any reason, such a police action was serious threat to the objective journalism and the freedom of press.?
It said, ?We also assume that the operation not only targeted a courageous and outspoken editor and his daily but also posed alarming message to the freedom of expression and citizen rights.?
They also demanded punishment of the police officials for the ?censurable incident.?
?We also demand the responsible authorities must apologise for the incident,? they said.
The statement was signed, among others, by Dhaka University teachers CR Abrar, Asif Nazrul and Gitiara Nasreen, photographer Shahidul Alam, Jahangirnagar University teachers Anu Mohammad, Naseem Akhter Hussain, Enamul Haque Khan, ATM Atiqur Rahman and Arifa Sultana, United States? Grand Valley State University teacher Azfar Hussain, Chittagong University teacher Sadaf Noor-e Islam, and right defenders Rahnuma Ahmed and Hana Shams Ahmed.
On December 28, 2014, a group of police led by Tejgaon industrial police station officer-in-charge Salahuddin stormed New Age premises in the peak hours of the newspaper at about 8:25pm without giving any reason.
Salahuddin said that he had ?information of serious nature? for which they needed to search the newspaper office.?He also threatened the newsmen saying that they would need to face dire consequences.
By KEITH GLADDIS Link showing video of shooting and protest (graphic content)
Police in South Africa say 34 miners were killed and another 78 injured when officers fired at strikers armed with ‘dangerous weapons’.
Police chief Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega told a press conference today that her officers acted to protect themselves when miners armed with spears and machetes charged towards them.
Shocking video of the incident emerged yesterday, showing police fire automatic weapons and handguns into the crowd of strikers for about a minute.
Protests erupted in Mal??the Maldivian capital as former Former President Mohamed Nasheed attended police headquarters this afternoon (2 Aug, 2012) in response to a summons issued by the Maldives Police Service.
Police beat up photojournalists in Dhaka. Agargaon. 11:00 am 26th May 2012.
?When you had taught us in class that we should be fighters, we had never anticipated this.? Said Shahadat Parvez Anchal, senior photojournalist of the Bangla Daily Prothom Alo and former student of Pathshala. We were standing by the bed of his colleague Sajid Hossain, who lay with his leg in a plaster in cabin 416 at the Trauma Centre in Shyamoli. True. I had told them to be fighters in the cause of justice. To resist oppression, to uphold peoples? rights. That in doing so they would become targets of the police, was something we hadn?t considered. We should have done.
The government was hell bent on preventing the opposition rally. Trains, buses and launches were all stopped. Ordinary passengers were beaten up and prevented from off loading at stations and ferrys. The police were out in full force in the city, checking on people to make sure they were not opposition supporters heading for the rally. Continue reading “March 12 Rally”