On August 7, 2022, at least 15 student activists affiliated with progressive student organizations were injured in attacks by police during a demonstration near the University of Dhaka. The students were protesting against an increase in fuel prices recently announced by the government.
Police officers initially attempted to disperse the protesters, and then began beating students with batons when they resisted. In a video posted to Facebook, officers are seen striking students while nearby demonstrators throw projectiles at the police. Injured students were transported to a hospital.
A local police authority reportedly stated that no one was arrested during the incident.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force to restrict students’ exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly – conduct which is protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bangladesh is a party. The use of violence to restrict student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.