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24 Nov 2023

The Daily Star

Bangladesh: After eleven years, victims of Tazreen Fashions fire still lack justice

"Tazreen Garments Fire: Eleven years without justice", 24 Nov 2023

Garments workers' platforms have blamed government's negligence in handling the Tazreen garments fire case, resulting in prolonged trial processes, while justice still eludes 11 years after the tragedy.

On this day in 2012, over 112 garment workers were killed in a fire at Tazreen Fashion Limited in Savar's Ashulia.

The government's negligence ultimately benefited the owners by paving the way for them to avoid accountability and hinder workers' attempts to seek justice, said Justice for Tazreen and Garments Shramik Oikya Forum, two workers' platforms, in a joint statement...

They pointed out that despite two cases being filed against the owners and others involved, only 11 witnesses out of the 104 mentioned in the charge sheet have testified in the past eight years.

The statement also said the government's systematic negligence and indifference in conducting the trial process served as a shield for the owners.

The government has repeatedly expressed reluctance in presenting witnesses, the statement said, raising concerns about the lack of commitment to ensure justice for the victims.

The system is inherently discouraged from identifying and prosecuting crimes committed by the owner class, including workers' deaths due to factory mismanagement, wage theft, and other offences, which has led to the prevailing situation that families of deceased workers, and other victim workers are on verge of relinquishing hope of justice, it said.

The statement further emphasised that the delay in trial proceedings is a deliberate attempt to suppress the pursuit of justice.

Part of the following timelines

Bangladesh: Eleven years on, the fight for justice for Tazreen factory fire survivors continues

Lawsuit against Tazreen Fashions (re factory fire in Bangladesh)