A Bangladeshi female factory worker died Wednesday during protests by workers over pay. Though she was not taking part in the demonstration, police in Gazipur, Bangladesh shot garment worker Anjuara Khatun.
Anjuara worked at a garment factory in the Zarun area of Konabari, Gazipur. Her workplace closed early on Wednesday as a result of the protests, and Anjurara was shot by the police shortly after leaving work. According to Inspector Jahangir Hossain, who spoke to Bangladeshi news source Prothom Alo, injury marks on Anjuara’s body showed she was likely not shot in the head. The bullet did however, cause her to fall, and she was subsequently trampled by protestors and died. Her body was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where her body was examined.
Workers in Bangladesh have recently been protesting in demand of better pay following the rise of minimum wage. Although minimum wage was raised for the first time in five years, workers have taken to the streets to demand a bigger increase. These protests have been met with a violent response from police. Speaking to Prothom Alo, Officer Ashraf Uddin stated that garment workers at the protest on Wednesday threw bricks at police. Police also used tear gas against the demonstrators.
Anjuara’s death is the third that has occurred as a result of worker’s protests in Bangladesh over the last week. Other victims include Rasel Howlader and Imran Hossain, who died inside a Dhaka factory due to a fire. US State Department Spokesperson, Matthew Miller, released a statement Wednesday condemning the violence being used by police against the protesting workers. The statement said:
We are . . . concerned about the ongoing repression of workers and trade unionists. We call on the government of Bangladesh to protect workers’ right to peaceful protest and investigate allegations of false criminal charges against workers and labor leaders. Governments must ensure workers are able to exercise their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining without fear of violence, reprisal, or intimidation.
A coroner is set to determine Anjuara’s actual cause of death.
Correction: The first paragraph has been revised for clarity.