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McDermott condemns murder of Bangledeshi labor leader

Aminul Islam, a Bangladeshi labor rights activist and former apparel worker, was tortured and murdered in early April in Dhaka. His body, which bore signs of brutal torture, was dumped outside of the capital city and was found by local police.  Labor rights organizations in Bangladesh and the United States say the killing is associated with Aminul’s work on behalf of apparel workers who sew garments for suppliers to major U.S. retailers and brands.

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) issued a statement condemning the murder:

“I am deeply troubled by this development and call on the Bangladeshi authorities to conduct a full investigation into Mr. Islam’s murder. Workers do not have even the most basic labor rights if they can be killed with impunity for trying to improve their working conditions.”

Aminul had worked for several years as a labor rights organizer and advocate. His organization, the Bangladeshi Center for Worker Solidarity, is among the most prominent labor rights groups in the country. Levi Strauss called BCWS “a globally respected labor rights organization that has played a vital role in documenting and working to remedy labor violations in the apparel industry in Bangladesh.”

The BCWS was featured in a recent ABC TV News story (watch it below) exposing the relationship of Tommy Hilfiger and other U.S. brand clothing to a sweatshop factory fire in Dhaka that killed 29 workers last year, and describing the repression of labor rights advocates.


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