Human rights activists on Friday held a rally protesting the torture of Bangladeshi female migrant workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as other Middle Eastern countries.
Rights group Socheton Nagorik Samaj (Conscious Civil Society) held the rally at the Central Shaheed Minar, where they condemned the "inhumane torture, including sexual harassment," inflicted upon women workers in Saudi Arabia.
Many have returned from the Middle Eastern country after being tortured. Some of them were even brought back dead, they told.
"Our expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry and embassy did not take proper initiative to protect our workers,'' participants claimed.
Rakhal Raha, a writer and social activist, presented a 10-point demand on behalf of the rights group.
They demanded that the Bangladesh government provide compensation of minimum Tk2 crore to the families of deceased workers, and Tk1 crore to the families of wounded workers.
Protestors also urged the government to apply diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia.
Speakers further said that the Philippines and Sri Lanka have stopped the migration of women workers to Saudi Arabia as their workers also faced torture at the hands of Saudi employers.
''But our government is only playing the role of a silent spectator,'' they complained.
Among others, Engineer M Enamul Haque, Advocate Hasnat Qaium, student leader Akhter Hossain, social activists Imran Imon and Anupom Roy also spoke at the rally.
To protest the torture, "Gana Oikya" and "Mukti Forum" formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club on Friday.
At least 850 female migrants have returned from Saudi Arabia after being tortured till September this year, according to Brac Migration Programme.
Between 2016 and June this year, bodies of 311 women migrants were sent from the Middle East, mostly from Saudi Arabia, according to Brac data.
"These workers either committed suicide or suffered strokes," claim the official documents of Suadi authority.
However, the families of the deceased and rights organisations have rejected the claims.