Secretary Clinton Voices Support for an End to Violent Repression of Bangladeshi Labor Organizers

By Liana Foxvog, International Labor Rights Forum

Secretary Clinton with Aleya and Laboni 500pxDuring her recent visit to Bangladesh, on May 6, 2012, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, met with students and community members at the International School in Dhaka. Following the torture and murder of Aminul Islam, an executive board member of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation and an organizer with the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, the topic was certain to be raised in the meeting.

Indeed, former garment worker and union organizer, Alia Atta, spoke out: "We face all kinds of obstructions with the police, goons, thugs, and false allegations in court. And, in fact, one of our leaders, Aminul Islam, was very brutally murdered."

Directing her question to Secretary Clinton, Atta asked: "With such conditions, how can we work with the cause of workers’ rights?"

Secretary Clinton responded: "Do not be discouraged or intimidated. But you deserve to have the support of your government and your society. … The labour problems in the garment industries have to be solved because you do not want to earn a reputation as a place where labour leaders and activists are murdered."

Since the murder of Aminul Islam, the International Labor Rights Forum has raised over $3500 to support memorial demonstrations, worker meetings, and printing of posters and leaflets. Much more support is needed. In addition to contributing to ILRF's Bangladesh labor solidarity fund, letters are encouraged to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, calling for a thorough and impartial investigation into the murder.



re: Secretary Clinton Voices Support for an End to Violent Repre

Over the last six years members from the Make it Safe Coalition (MISC) have arranged
an assembly of Whistleblowers in Washington,DC each year for an annual conference
originally known as Washington Whistleblower’s Week. The ACORN 8 and the USDA
Coalition of Mionrity Employees will co-­‐host this year’sWhistleblower Summit on
Civil & Human Rights.

This year’s theme is WoW…Obama—fighting the War on Whistleblowers and Women.
We are proud to announce that MSNBC Host Dylan Ratigan has agreed to participate
and that the PACIFICA Radio Network will broadcast the historic event nationally this year.

The Pillar Human Rights Award for International Person’s of Conscience will be awarded to notable civil and human rights champions.The international press may cover the event as well.


The Opening Plenary and Panel Discussion will take place in the
Dirksen Building Senate Judiciary Hearing Room on May 21, 2012 (12:00—4:00 PM).Followed by Welcome Reception and Art Auction at the Mott House on May21, 2012 (5:00—7:00 PM)


A Press Conference on the Mall at the Martin Luther King Memorial will be held on May 22, 2012 (11:00—2:00 PM). Followed by Historic Whistleblower Book Signing and Film Screening at Busboy’s & Poets (14th and V. Street)on May 22, 2012(4:00—8:00 PM).Notable authors, whistleblowers and advocates include Tom Devine, the Whistleblowers Survival Guide; Michael McCray, ACORN8: Race, Power & Politics, and Eyal Press, Beautiful Souls.


Civil and Human Rights Roundtable on the War on Women,and the War on Whistleblowers will be held at the Mott House on May 23, 2012 (10:00—2:00 PM). ACORN 8, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and the MISC are an assortment of various public interest/advocacy groups. For more information call 202.370.6635 or 703.743.0565 or for more information please visit the website.