Statement by four women’s human rights bodies on violence against indigenous women

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Hill Voice, 8 September 2020, Dhaka: The four women’s human rights organizations have expressed their strong condemnation over ongoing violence against indigenous women, demanding immediate registration of cases, prosecution and arrest of the perpetrators to ensure justice.

A statement yesterday on 6 September 2020 Monday afternoon signed by Member-Secretary of Bangladesh Indigenous Women Network (BIWN) Chanchana Chakma on behalf of the four organizations expressed concern over the continued persecution of indigenous women in different districts of the country over the past few days.

There are reports of torture and violence. An Indigenous woman was gang-raped in Bandarban’s Lama on 30 August 2020 at 1:00 am. One of the accused persons has been arrested in the case but the other accused have not been arrested yet.

On the other hand, on 31 August 2020, a speech-impaired indigenous woman was raped in Dinajpur. On the same day, a teenage girl was raped in Mahalchhari of Khagrachhari. Local UP chairman Ratan Sheel has been accused of holding an arbitration locally after the rape. Al-Amin was fined Tk 10,000 for rape. No case has been filed in this regard.

The statement added, the level of violence against indigenous women and girls has reached an all-time high during this COVID-19 pandemic. In all the cases mentioned above, these organizations are demanding immediate prosecution and arrest of the culprits to ensure justice.

The four organizations issuing the statement are Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network, Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad.

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