At least six people were killed and 878 injured in 74 incidents of "political violence" in August, according to a report published by Human Rights Support Society on Saturday (2 September).
"Most of these casualties occurred in clashes centred around the ruling Awami League's infighting and BNP's rally. In addition, relating to the funeral of Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Saidi, one person was killed and several people were injured and arrested in clashes involving Awami League and the police against his supporters in several districts including the capital," stated the report.
In its review of the human rights situation in the month of August 2023, the agency found that "obstruction of peaceful assembly, cases of disappearance by security forces, political arrests, obstruction of funeral prayers, unlawful behavior by members of security forces, attacks and arrests on journalists, torture by BSF on innocent Bangladeshis at the border, violence against women and mass killings continue."
These findings are based on information from various media outlets in Bangladesh, as well as investigations conducted by the HRSS's dedicated unit and input from local representatives, said the report.
The comprehensive human rights monitoring report for August 2023 indicates a decline in the overall human rights situation compared to the previous month's report for the same period, it added.
In August, 501 people, including 494 from BNP-Jamaat, were subjected to political arrests by law enforcement agencies this month, while 27 political cases were filed against opposition party leaders-activists naming 1,033 people and 11,095 others were accused anonymously, reads the report.
The report also stated that there have been incidents of obstruction in organising 14 meetings of the opposition parties by law enforcement forces and government party leaders and activists. During the clash, 435 people were injured and 48 people were arrested from the rallies. Also, six people were injured in election violence.
As per the report, 38 journalists were tortured and harassed in 24 attacks this month. At least 23 people were injured, 11 people were assaulted, three were threatened and one was arrested. At the same time, three people have been arrested and five people have been charged in four cases filed under the Digital Security Act 2018.
The report also expressed concern that five people were killed and 13 injured in 10 incidents of "public lynching" in August.
According to the report, 259 women and girls were victims of child abuse in the month of August. Among them, 85 people have been raped, out of which 38 children.
"It is of great concern that 13 women and children were gang-raped and two were killed after the rape. A total of 95 women were victims of sexual violence, including 56 children," the report said.
The report states that five women were killed in dowry related torture and nine women were victims of physical torture and one committed suicide. A total of 39 women were killed, 12 injured and 12 women committed suicide due to domestic violence. One was a victim of acid violence.
"It is worrisome that 184 children have been victims of abuse out of which 46 have lost their lives and 138 children have been victims of physical and human abuse," reads the report.
Stating that the overall human rights situation of the country will further deteriorate if the basic and constitutional rights of the people cannot be ensured by controlling the law-and-order situation immediately, the agency urged the government to play a responsible role in protecting human rights and asked all conscious citizens, journalists, political leaders and local and foreign human rights organisations to be more vocal.