Featured image: Adilur Rahman Khan, activist detained in September in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.Source: BBC.
On Tuesday 3rd of October a report was published by the Human Rights Support Society (HRSS) on the repression in Bangladesh during the first nine months of 2023. The report shows devastating figures: in nine months, 60 people had been killed, 6,743 had been injured and another 4,214 had been arrested due to political reasons. Also the State opened 223 criminal cases against a total of 7,648 political leaders and activists and against another 45,844 unidentified people. Finally, it is also reported that 199 meetings, assemblies or other gatherings were obstructed by the repressive forces.
The report also includes a specific section for journalists: from January to September, a journalist was killed, 121 were injured, 14 were threatened, five arrested and 77 assaulted. We have reported earlier on this repression to journalists in Bangladesh. Democratic rights activists are also the objective of the State of Bangladesh: in the month of September were arrested activists who reported on the murders committed by the Bangladeshi police. These activists are Adilur Rahman Khan and Nasiruddin Elan from the group Odhikar. Subsequently, numerous similar organizations and activists signed a joint statement for their release.
The people of Bangladesh constantly face this reactionary and government servant of the imperialism that constantly unleashes repression on it. During the beginning of September of 2022, the people’s protests erupted against the increase in prices they were suffering, and in these protests there were at least one dead and hundreds of injured in the month of August. After these protests, also in 2022 there were huge protests against the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, with thousands of people taking the streets during the month of September. The prime minister described the protesters as “incendiary terrorists.” In the month of October, after months of protests in the country, there were reports from Human Rights Watch of a great repression in the country, which had climbed since the summer of 2022, and that intensified with the advent of the following elections.
In 2023 this struggle has continued despite these retaliations by the State of Bangladesh, with strong clashes in July that left dozens of injured, also among the police. Despite the attempt of the bourgeois parties of channeling the protest and turn it into something “peaceful”, the people overcome their margins and clashed with the repressive forces of the State. We have reported on this earlier.
After these great clashes, the people continues in the streets, and especially the deepest and broadest masses of the country continue to protest due to the bad conditions that they suffer. For example, on 3rd of September there was a demonstration attended by hundreds of people, mainly part of the Adivasi people. This people protested against the bad conditions they suffer in the country, as well as against the repression unleashed by the State. Also the proletarian women of the textile industry protested on Tuesday 5th of October in Dhaka, blocking the roads during that same day and during the Wednesday 6th of October.
Demonstration of proletarian women in Dhaka. Source: Dhaka Tribune.
This growing repression is directed by imperialism, mainly Yankee, which through financial entities, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF), imposes its conditions in the country. Last January, the IMF approved a total of 4.7 billion dollars for the semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, 3.3 billion from an economic program, and another 1.4 billion from another program of “financial aid to resilience”. After months of reforms in Bangladesh, on 4th of October the IMF announced its “satisfaction” with the direction that was carried out in the country. While arriving reports of arbitrary arrests, murders and injuries, imperialism is satisfied with the direction of its servants in the country. But while repression grows and bad conditions get worse, the deepest and broadest masses of Bangladesh take the streets with more conviction and firmness.