Updated: May 13
On Monday, October 7, 2019, Abrar Fahad, a second-year-student of electrical and electronic engineering at Dhaka's Bangladesh University of Engineering (Buet), was beaten to death in his university’s dormitory days after criticizing the government on Facebook.
Several members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL)—the youth wing of the governing Awami League party—were detained in connection with the death.
The BCL has recently been widely accused of using torture and extortion against students on university campuses across Bangladesh. According to BBC, CCTV footage from Fahad’s dormitory showed several men carrying the victim's body.
Torture of public university students by the student wing of the ruling parties is nothing new in Bangladesh; since 2010, several students have been beaten to death by BCL members. Delays in investigations and the lack of punishment of perpetrators of gruesome campus murders have fostered a culture of impunity.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide strongly condemns the brutal murder of Abrar Fahad. Recently, there has been a rise in such extremist violence in Bangladesh, including a series of assassinations of bloggers or intellectuals who have been critical of the government. Students, professors, and academics have been increasingly targeted in violent attacks—an unacceptable trend that hurts the future of societies at large. Universities, as all-in-one symbols of freedom, empowerment, and peace, are attacked for the values they promote, values that stand in strong contrast with the extremist ideology and ruthless methods of terrorist groups.