‘They beat me with sticks’: Bangladesh opposition reels under crackdown as thousands held

Police accused of shooting at activists and leaders of growing street protests against Sheikh Hasina’s draconian government

It was a warm afternoon in May 2020 when Ahmed Kabir Kishore, dozing lazily, awoke to 20 men breaking down the door of his apartment in Dhaka, Bangladesh. With guns waved in his face, he was dragged to a van outside. “Move away, we have arrested a terrorist,” he heard them shout at the crowds.

Kishore was not a terrorist. He was a cartoonist whose political drawings, published in prominent Bangladesh newspapers and magazines, took a critical view of the alleged corruption, human rights abuses and mishandling of the Covid pandemic by the government, led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

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Sea ‘a graveyard’ as number of Rohingya fleeing Bangladesh by boat soars

UN figures show number of those attempting to escape horrendous conditions in refugee camps increased from 700 in 2021 to over 3,500 in 2022

The number of Rohingya refugees taking dangerous sea journeys in the hope of reaching Malaysia or Indonesia has surged by 360%, the UN has announced after hundreds of refugees were left stranded at the end of last year.

Rohingya in Bangladesh refugee camps have warned that human smugglers have ramped up operations and are constantly searching for people to fill boats from Myanmar and Bangladesh headed for Malaysia, where people believe they can live more freely.

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Rohingya refugees bet lives on boat crossings despite rising death toll

Woman recounts suffering on perilous journeys taken to escape oppression in Myanmar and squalid Bangladesh camps

Hatemon Nesa recalled hugging her young daughter tightly as the cramped, broken-down boat they were sitting on drifted aimlessly. They had set off on 25 November from the squalid Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, where they had lived since 2017, when a brutal crackdown by Myanmar’s military forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee over the border.

The 27-year-old, like many other Rohingya refugees, was hoping for a better life in Malaysia. But about 10 days into the journey the boat’s engine stopped working and food and water supplies began to run out.

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About 180 Rohingya refugees feared dead after boat goes missing

Contact lost for weeks with vessel that left camps in Bangladesh and was crossing Andaman Sea bound for Malaysia

About 180 Rohingya refugees are feared to have died after their boat went missing in the Andaman Sea, making 2022 one of the deadliest years for the refugees trying to flee the camps in Bangladesh.

In a statement on Sunday, the United Nations said it was concerned that a boat carrying the refugees, which had left the camps in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar on 2 December bound for Malaysia, had sunk with no survivors, which would make it one of the worst disasters for Rohingya sea crossings this year.

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Activists appeal for rescue of Rohingya refugees stranded at sea in leaking boat

Vessel thought to have embarked from Bangladesh is reportedly near Malaysia with 160 people onboard who have no food or water

Activists have called for urgent assistance to rescue 160 Rohingya refugees, including young children, who they say are stranded at sea on a damaged boat and have been without food or water for days.

The boat, which activists say is near Malaysian waters, is believed to have left on 25 November from Bangladesh, where almost 1 million Rohingya live in squalid and cramped refugee camps.

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Two Bangladeshi opposition leaders arrested in government crackdown

Seven killed and thousands arrested as Hasina regime continues repressive campaign against opponents

Two top leaders of Bangladesh’s main opposition party have been arrested amid a violent crackdown on government opponents during which at least seven people have been shot dead and thousands arrested.

Over recent weeks, Sheikh Hasina’s government has launched a repressive campaign against the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP), which has been holding rallies calling for her resignation.

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US blogger’s killers escape on motorbikes from Bangladeshi court

Men on death row for murder of secular writer snatched by bikers who sprayed police with chemical

Two Islamist militants who were on death row in Bangladesh for the killing of a US blogger critical of fundamentalist Islam have made a dramatic escape on motorbikes while being escorted to a court hearing in the capital, Dhaka.

The two men were among those convicted of the murder of Avijit Roy, an American-Bangladeshi writer and blogger who was hacked to death with machetes in the streets of Dhaka in 2015.

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The floating gardens of Bangladesh – in pictures

Many farmers in south-western Bangladesh use floating rafts made from invasive water hyacinths to grow vegetables during the monsoon season – when dry land is scarce – to ensure food security in the low-lying country, which has recently been experiencing prolonged floods and waterlogging as a result of the changing climate

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World has left Bangladesh to shelter 1m Rohingya refugees alone, says minister

Shahriar Alam criticises international community for doing ‘absolutely nothing’ to press Myanmar’s junta to guarantee a safe return

The world has done “absolutely nothing” to ensure safety in Myanmar for its persecuted Rohingya minority, said Bangladesh’s foreign minister, complaining that his country is sheltering more than 1 million refugees without support.

Foreign minister Shahriar Alam told the Guardian financial support for the Rohingya has decreased each year and there has been no real progress towards repatriation in the five years since more than 700,000 fled massacres by Myanmar’s military. That wave, in August 2017, joined approximately 300,000 people that had already fled Myanmar because of previous security crackdowns.

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Cyclone Sitrang: 24 dead as Bangladesh seeks to restore power to millions

Nearly 10,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by storm that flooded cities and forced a million to evacuate

At least 24 people have died and millions were without power after Cyclone Sitrang struck Bangladesh, forcing the evacuation of about a million people.

Most of the deaths were from falling trees, police and government officials said, with two dying in the north on the Jamuna river when their boat sank. A Myanmar national working on a ship also died by falling off the deck, an official said.

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Diwali: Hindu festival of lights celebrations around the world – in pictures

Diwali, one of the most popular Hindu festivals, is celebrated by devotees all over the world. Also known as the festival of lights, it symbolises the victory of good over evil and commemorates Lord Ram’s return to the Ayodhya kingdom after a 14-year exile

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‘Give workers an equal seat’: pressure builds for Levi’s to protect factory employees

Activists say that the company’s own audits have been ineffective and workers receive inadequate safety protections

Workers and activists have been campaigning to push Levi’s, one of the world’s largest clothing brands, to sign on to an international accord for workers’ health and safety in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which housed five garment clothing factories, collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring approximately 2,500, in the deadliest disaster in the garment industry’s history.

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‘This is our documentary of the crisis we face’: the Rohingya smartphone photographers

Refugees who have fled Myanmar describe the risks and their sense of duty – as well as joy – in recording life around them in the sprawling camps of Bangladesh

The camera of a budget smartphone has become a way for many of the Rohingya stuck in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to tell their own stories, capturing photos of their lives in the camps, which became the world’s largest when 700,000 people fled the Myanmar military five years ago, joining 300,000 who had already sought refuge across the border.

These photographers, who are all under 30, are building a record of the culture and traditions they fear could be lost so far from home, and have sharpened their skills during floods and fires and other all too frequent moments of crisis.

Zaudha, 40, stares out over the smouldering remains of her home after the largest of the camp fires, in March 2021, when 50,000 lost their homes. The smoke and heat was still too intense for her to go down to the exact spot she lived in.

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Women behind the lens: silent and alone, Nur hopes for a greener future

In the sweltering summer of the Rohingya refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar, Ishrat Fori Imran photographed a young girl planting tiny trees in bottle tops

Nur Asma is 10 years old. She lives in the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, with her family. She has four siblings; she is the third child in the family.

Nur loves creative play – crafting, making horses and utensils out of mud, making a chicken coop from bamboo, that sort of thing, and she loves studying too. She is very shy and introverted. She does everything silently and plays alone. Perhaps she just loves spending time alone. She is a girl who wants to create something new by herself and doesn’t want to copy from others.

Ishrat Fori Imran is a Rohingya refugee photographer who uses a smartphone to document life in the camp. Her work has featured in Rohingyatography magazine

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Rohingya crisis: plight of Myanmar’s displaced people explained in 30 seconds

One million Rohingya remain in Bangladesh refugee camps and the persecuted group has little hope of returning to Myanmar

It has been five years since Myanmar’s military launched a campaign of massacres that killed about 7,000 Rohingya in a single month and compelled 700,000 to flee for the Bangladeshi border.

Since the first major military operation against the Rohingya minority in 1978, which forced out 200,000, the Rohingya have been collectively stripped of their citizenship and targeted by increasing violence and discrimination that culminated in the “clearance operations” that began on 25 August 2017. Those operations were years in the planning, according to military documents uncovered by the Commission for International Justice and Accountability and sent to the international criminal court.

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