Hundreds of protesters protested in Bangladesh for the second day in a row against sexual violence against women on Tuesday after new cases sparked outrage.
In Dhaka, a scuffle pitted protesters against police officers who prevented them from marching to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s office. Several people were injured.
Dhaka University students and leftist protesters chanted slogans critical of the head of government, such as “Shame on Hasina,” calling on her to step down, an unusual display of mistrust in a country where such criticism of the government are rare.
The protest movement, in Dhaka and other cities, began after a video was released showing several men stripping and attacking a woman from a disadvantaged community in the southern district of Noakhali.
The video was shared tens of thousands of times before being deleted, sparking outrage on social media in a country where activists believe many rape victims do not file complaints.
Anger had been simmering since last week after the arrest of several members of the student wing of the ruling party, accused of the gang rape of a woman in the town of Sylhet (North).
The protests in Bangladesh unfold as in neighboring India indignation has grown for a week following the gang rape and the death of a young girl from the underprivileged community of Dalits, once called “untouchables”, attacked according to her family by four upper caste men.
For Amnesty International, “the disturbing images that have been filmed show the shocking violence to which women are regularly subjected in Bangladesh”. The human rights organization called for a thorough and impartial investigation.
According to the local human rights organization Ain-o-Salish Kendra (ASK), nearly a thousand cases of rape were reported in Bangladesh from January to September, including 208 gang rapes.