On May 7, 2013 Odhikar issued a statement on the brutal and indiscriminate killing of hundreds of unarmed Hefazate Islam activists and curtailing media freedom. On May 6, 2013 at around 2:30 am, a reported 10 thousand members of police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), along with the armed cadres of the ruling party, attacked thousands of leaders and activists of Hefazate Islam Bangladesh, a non-political religious group, at Shapla Chottor, Motijheel in the Capital. The demonstrators gathered at the Shapla Chottor after their ‘Dhaka blockade’ programme, with the permission of the government, for a public meeting. That night, the law enforcement agencies began by removing media people from the area and shutting down the power supply. They opened fire in the dark with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and threw tear gas shells and sound grenades indiscriminately at the unarmed leaders and activists of Hefazate Islam, many of whom were sleeping after the day-long programme.
Press_Statement_Odhikar_Eng (full text in English, PDF)