Recently a group of Bangladeshi students organized a silent protest in the front of Universum. Their aim is to raise awareness about the current oppression and violence that is taking place against minorities in Bangladesh.
Almost thirty international students from various countries participated. Fahria Kabir, recent graduate from Umeå university, was one of the promoters of the silent protest, and also Punom Kumar, Moyukh Chowdhury and Shubha Rakshit.
– It is always a very important issue for me tto question the status quo. In certain contexts I am marginalized, but again, in other contexts I have some privileges that others do not have. So I always find it my responsibility to use my privilege to stand up for the people who are oppressed, says Fahria Kabir.
Does it help to manifest here in Umeå?
– First of all, if you are asking about immediate help: No, I don’t think that our small protest can stop or alter the structural oppression and extremism that have been taking place in Bangladesh for a very long time. But, yes, we need to start somewhere. The important message of this protest in Umeå was to inform the international community about the oppression and violence.
Fahria Kabir thinks Sweden is a good country to manifest in because there are many organizations for human rights.
– Sweden has a face and voice in the international platform. People here in Sweden stand for human rights. We all need to give a wake up call to the general Bangladeshi population and if possible to the government. Just think about the potential networks we have here in Sweden, there are so many human rights organizations and institutions, if we can reach to them, probably they can help?
The group have also written a position paper (link below). They want to reach out to others, but they don’t have new protests planned.
–We really want to get in touch with some human rights organizations. We don’t posses all the tools and resources that is needed to stand against the violence and oppression that is taking place against the minor religious and ethnic groups in Bangladesh, says Fahria Kabir.
Greta Hansson Vikström
Read the groups position paper here (pdf).