Bangladeshi human rights organization Odhikar on Saturday condemned the incidents of sexual harassment that took place during an Awami League rally on Wednesday, March 7.
“Odhikar deeply condemns the reported disgraceful incidents of sexual harassment of a number of women in different streets of Dhaka City allegedly by the ruling party activists, the day before International Women’s Day,” an Odhikar press release read.
“It was reported that the attackers chanted the slogan ‘Joy Bangla’ from the procession while they sexually molested and obstructed the free and safe movement of women in the streets. The procession was on its way to join the assembly to celebrate Unesco recognition of the historic March 7 speech at Suhrawardy Udyan,” it added.
Saying that at least seven victims of the molestation had posted statuses on social media and a case had been filed with Ramna police station by one of their fathers, Odhikar demanded that appropriate action be taken against perpetrators of the crimes regardless of social status or political affiliation.
Recalling the incidents of sexual harassment which took place on the occasion of the Bengali new year on April 14, 2015, for which victims have still not received justice, Odhikar expressed their belief that the failure to punish offenders was the main reason behind the increasing frequency of the attacks.