All photos taken by Monirul Alam.
Burnt-out cars and debris were strewn across the streets of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Monday and Tuesday following clashes between opposition protesters and police. The opposition Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) political party had organised a demonstration to demand its top leaders be released; several had been arrested for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the bloody Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971
The government set up the International Crime Tribunal (ICT) in 2010 to investigate the suspects, which included the party’s chief, Motiur Rahamn Nizami and its former chief, Ghulam Azam. But the United Nations and human rights organisations have criticised the ICT for failing to comply with international legal standards and falling short of transparency.
All the suspects deny the charges, deeming them politically-motivated. Their supporters agree and protest regularly both in the capital and other Bangladeshi cities.
“The party is trying to build up a mass opposition movement across the country”
Our Observer, Monirul Alam, is a photographer in Dhaka. When he heard about Monday’s protest he headed down to the Motijheel neighbourhood.
Photo shows a streetchild walking by a police car burnt during demonstrations in Dhaka’s Motijheel neighbourhood on Monday..
The protesters burnt police cars and threw bricks at the police. The street children are used to clashes like these - violent demonstrations are not rare in Dhaka. The boy in the photo was just walking past carrying a bag of food. Our political situation is so bad that unrest in the streets means people get hurt and are sometimes killed.
Photo shows handcuffed demonstrator in Dhaka’s Motijheel neighbourhood on Monday.
The JI released a statement following Monday’s protest, claiming police had arrested 300 demonstrators. The party is trying to build up a mass opposition movement across the country. So we can expect more demonstrations, especially because the JI’s student party is highly active. The students are involved and mobilised.
Photo shows police riot car in Dhaka, Monday 5 November
The police have riot cars with water cannons attached to them. I saw them throw teargas canisters and shoot rubber bullets to try to disperse the protesters