Asia-Pacific left parties' statement in solidarity with Bangladeshi student movement
Stop the repression of students in Bangladesh! The undersigned Asia-Pacific left parties and organisations condemn the violent repression of the peaceful protests by students in Bangladesh. These peaceful protests were sparked by the killing of two students — and critical injury of several others — by a speeding bus in Dhaka on July 29. The students began protesting the poor regulation and corruption of the transport sector but they were violently attacked by police. Gangs of armed thugs were allowed by the police to attack the students with machetes and other weapons and sexually harass female students. More than 100 students have been injured. Schools have been closed and university campuses have been under siege by police. Reporters and photographers covering the protests have been attacked and an award-winning photographer, Shahidul Alam, 63, has been arrested after he gave an interview to Al Jazeera. We call on the Bangladeshi government to:
- immediately stop its repression of the student protests;
- stop allowing and encouraging criminal gangs to attack the students:
- end its siege of university campuses, and to;
- release Shahidul Alam and all student protesters who have been arrested.