100 signatures reached
To: Justin Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland and Members of Parliament
Condemn State Violence Against Student Protesters in Bangladesh
Following the deaths of two teenagers in a deadly road accident, high school and university students across Bangladesh took to the streets to protest the lack of road safety and regulation, which result in multiple deaths every week. These students, many of whom are minors demanded that all drivers, including government officials, army officers and police be held accountable for driving recklessly and not having licenses. In response, the government has appointed the Chatro League, to attack protesters in order to quell the civil unrest. The violence inflicted upon the peaceful protesters has resulted in multiple deaths, hundred of attacks, and numerous cases of sexual violence, including multiple rapes. Journalists are also prevented from entering the scene, and information is only received through multiple posts, videos and pleas for help on Facebook. There has been little to no media coverage of any of these horrendous events.
As concerned citizens, we urge you to draw attention to and condemn the state violence against peaceful student protesters in Bangladesh. Mr.Trudeau recently met with Sheikh Hasina and expressed Canada's commitment to address humanitarian needs in Bangladesh, and cultivate stronger bilateral relations. This is a clear violation of human rights and if Canada truly wishes to cultivate a strong relationship with Bangladesh, and would like to further its commitment toward the wellbeing of the nation and its citizens, then we must address and condemn the senseless violence, and violation of rights that are being inflicted upon young people in the country. We urge that you place pressure on and demand the government of Bangladesh to not only stop the violence against its own citizens but meet their demands for safer roads in order to prevent further loss of life.
Why is this important?
In North America, safe roads and licensed drivers are something that we take for granted. Pedestrian deaths are not a daily norm, and if they are to ever occur, we can be sure that the drivers will be held accountable. This is not the case for citizens of Bangladesh, where unregulated driving and lack of road safety lead to hundreds of deaths on a regular basis. Ambulances cannot even travel to patients on time due to no rules regarding the safe passage of medical vehicles. Last week, the deaths of two teenagers in a senseless truck hit and run sparked massive protests across the nation. Teenagers, young adults, teachers and more took to the streets halting civilian drivers, and government officials, demanding proof of licensing. Protesters have a simple demand: Safer roads. This demand was not met. What they were met with was violence. Multiple students and teens have been severely injured, raped and even murdered for daring to speak out about the lack of consequences that government officials and the wealthy face for reckless driving which results in the deaths of hundreds. More than a hundred students were injured on August 4th when police opened fired with rubber bullets. Students shared stories, pleas and proof of the violence via facebook. The government's response was to halt mobile internet access for 24 hours. This is a violation of human rights, children are being attacked and losing their lives for demanding safer living conditions, and it is our responsibility to foster change.