Video suggests higher Bangladesh protest toll : Al Jazeera

Video footage obtained by Al Jazeera appears to contradict official death toll from May 6 violence in Dhaka.

Last Modified: 14 May 2013 16:47

Al Jazeera has obtained video footage suggesting that the Bangladesh government has been providing inaccurate death tolls from recent violence.

According to official figures, 11 people had died during fighting between police and protesters from Hifazat-e-Islam, an Islamic group, on May 6, a day protesters refer to as the “Siege of Dhaka”.

Human Rights Watch, a US-based rights group, said that the exact number of deaths resulting from the protests are “unclear”.

Bangladesh FM Dipu Moni

“Independent news sources put the figure at approximately 50 dead, with others succumbing to injuries later,” HRW said in a statement on Saturday.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dipu Moni downplayed reports of inaccuracy in government figures.

“There can always be an inquiry, there can always be an investigation,” said Moni.

“The government or most of the people in the country doesn’t even think that there was any controversy with the matter,” she added.

Abdul Jalil, a deaf and mute grave digger at Dhaka’s state-run cemetery, communicated that he buried 14 bodies of bearded men with gunshot wounds after the protest, all at night.

The rights group wants an independent inquiry to find out what happened once and for all.

Bangladesh: Independent Body Should Investigate Protest Deaths :HRW

Rolling Demonstrations Could Lead to Bloodbath Without Government Action

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should immediately set up an independent commission to investigate the large numbers of deaths and injuries during the Hefazat-e-Islaam-led protests in Dhaka and elsewhere on May 5-6, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today.

The commission should also investigate violence that killed dozens in February, March, and April after protests and counter-protests broke out after the announcement of verdicts by the country’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT).

The exact number of deaths during the May 5-6 protest remains unclear, with figures ranging from the official government figure of 11 deaths to Hefazat’s estimate of thousands. Independent news sources put the figure at approximately 50 dead, with others succumbing to injuries later. The dead include several security personnel. Continue reading “Bangladesh: Independent Body Should Investigate Protest Deaths :HRW”