Justice in Kalapara Rape sign now

Honourable Prime Minister,

It was with great hope and anticipation that the nation returned the Awami League to the helm of Bangladesh on your promise to work to develop the country and secure the lives and livelihood of our people. Since taking office, we have seen and heard many goods things from your government.

We are, however, alarmed by the rapid slide in law and order across the country. We are particularly disturbed by the criminal activity of members of your own party and particularly the BCL (Bangladesh Chhatra League). The charges range from corruption to robbery, extortion and violent assault. These charges pale in comparison with the recently reported horrific gang rape by BCL thugs of a defenceless teenage girl in Kalapara.

The girl was returning home by rickshaw with a cousin when they were waylaid by 16 BCL activists. They beat up the cousin and dragged the poor girl to a nearby garden where 10 of the thugs raped her. The horror of an innocent girl being set upon by 10 cowardly thugs is beyond comprehension. The girl's ordeal was interrupted when members of her family arrived with police to rescue her and the police arrested two of the perpetrators. But this was not the end of her suffering. Following the incident Rakibul Ahsan and Sultan Mahmud, both senior members of your Awami League party in Kalapara, held a village arbitration at which they fined the rapists Tk.10,000 each and intimidated the girl and her parents to drop all charges. The police, having caught the criminals in their despicable act, failed to register a case themselves and released the two rapists they had arrested. And now the poor girl, who should be recovering in a safe, protected environment, is being dragged around by Ahsan and Mahmud from one press conference to another in their desperate attempt to cover up the affair.

Honourable Prime Minister, the pain and anguish the girl suffered as she was violated time and again by these savages cannot be imagined. Nor can it go unpunished. This girl cannot be used, abused and then discarded like this. The honour of an innocent girl is the honour of our nation and that honour has been violated.

Honourable Prime Minister, you have taken an oath to protect and defend the Bangladeshi people, our lives and our honour. With all respect and humility, we the undersigned request that you take this matter directly in hand. Free the girl and her family from this political-criminal nexus and put them in a place of safety. Have the rapists and their helpers the 16 BCL thugs, the village arbitrators and Ahsan and Mahmud - arrested and investigated. Suspend and remove the police officers that cannot act in such a clear cut case in defence of an innocent child.

The eyes of the nation are on you and on this girl. She is our daughter, our sister and our hope for a better, safer tomorrow. Let this violation not stand.

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Brent DavidBy:
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The Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh

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