A students’ protest on road safety has now led to a fight against oppression, against being silenced, against their freedom of speech. But with the government shutting all means of communication, the youth is pleading on social media to make their voices heard.
There are reports of people missing, of rape and murder, threats and trauma, forced silences and a complete shutdown.
It all started with a demand for road safety and safer public transport system.
But the final nail in the coffin was put when two students were killed by a transport bus in Dhaka, the capital city.
The students’ protest about road safety has now turned into a resistance against the government. The students are now clashing with the police, facing tear gas and lathi charge, rubber bullets and metal pipes.
Following days of protest and violence, a vehicle carrying US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat was attacked by “armed men.”
These protestors are all aged between 13 and 18. The protests are now more to do with their freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, a New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that ruling party men armed with sticks and machetes have swooped in on the protesters and journalists since the students took to the streets on July 29 after two students were killed.
While the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has denied the allegations that its activists were involved, reports and witnesses have given a different picture.
The government has shut down the Internet facility in the country and withholding release of text, images, audio and videos to the outside world, not wanting to any shed light on what is actually going on in Bangladesh. But when you revolt against the mighty system, you learn to resist every force that tries to put you down. And that’s exactly what the protestors are using social media for.
The media’s limited access to the happenings of Bangladesh is prompting thousands of protestors to plead on social networking platforms– describing the incidents and what their government is doing to them.
CONTENT WARNING: The content below has blood and violence. Watch at your own discretion.
— Jahid Hasan (@JahidHa59254353) August 6, 2018
This is a peaceful protest staged by students in Bangladesh demanding for a safer road yet policemen came upon orders of its govt to stop the protest by means of violence.
Deaths were recorded, some were injured, media personnel were beaten. Please help! #WeWantJustice
LOOK AT TODAYS SITUATION OF OUR COUNTRY NOW THEY ARE ATTACKING PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES AS WELL ITS A WAKE UP CALL FOR ALL OF US WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!
I have witnessed the protests with my own eyes during my coach ride. these innocent students are bashed for wanting change, labelled as ‘troublemakers’. We need awareness. We need them to know that they are doing the right thing-the government should be criticised #wewantjustice
PLEASE LET THE WORLD KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN BANGLADESH #BBC #CNN #AlJazeera #WeWantJustice #BBC #CNN #SkyNews #CCBM #AlJazeera #Telegraph #TheSun #DailyMail #TheGuardian #NewYorkTimes #NasDailyGlobal #ProjectNightFall #AlArabia #EuroNews #NBC #RoadSafetyBangladesh
MEDIA blackout in Bangladesh, Facebook takes down students/victims’ posts, internet speeds slowed to 1.5KBps (!!!), and violence continues
More images of the violence in Bangladesh- Government ordering attacks on peaceful student (mostly teen) protesters. People being murdered and raped, many missing. Government restricting Internet access to censor these atrocities. Please re tweet! #rebootbangladesh
— Farha Rahman (@FarhaRahman13) August 6, 2018
The images are gory and the cries are being silenced.
Meanwhile, police arrested a prominent human rights activist and photographer in connection with the protests. Shahidul Alam was arrested on Sunday following his “provocative comments” on the protests. He was arrested under section 57 of Bangladesh’s Information Communications Technology Act, a broad law against electronic communication that “tends to deprave or corrupt” or prejudices the image of the state.