350.org, YouthNet issue joint statement protesting killings of power plant workers in Banshkhali | The Daily Star
10:22 PM, April 19, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:26 PM, April 19, 2021

350.org, YouthNet issue joint statement protesting killings of power plant workers in Banshkhali

Environmental groups YouthNet for Climate Justice and 350.org issued a joint statement protesting the deaths of five coal power plant workers in Banshkhali for demanding due wages and workers' rights.

They were shot and killed at the construction site of Banshkhali coal powerplant, also known as the Chittagong or Chattogram power station, financed by the Chinese-owned Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation III (SEPCOIII) and Bangladesh-based S Alam group, the statement read.

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"As a young climate justice activist in this country, I am utterly horrified and saddened by the killings of these workers. They expressed their democratic rights to protest for workers' rights and their own unpaid wages - but paid with their lives. There must be an investigation into these killings, and the workers' situation at the SEPCOIII coal plant. The authorities must be able to tell us why they fired on these workers. This is already the second time workers have been killed in relation to S Alam, and there must be a stringent inquiry. As Bangladeshis, we deserve safety and accountability."

This is the second time the S Alam group has been linked to the killing of workers since 2016 where six workers were killed for protesting the construction of a plant, according to the joint statement.  

Meanwhile 350.org Organiser Shibayan issued the following statement "This is a horrific tragedy that should not have happened at all. We are now in a pandemic and an economic crisis, and workers are not being paid what they are owed, but instead shot in cold blood. The workers should not have even had to protest in the first place — for them to be paid is basic human rights. This is a clear example of how coal is destructive to our lives. These companies not only set us on a path to climate disaster. They also cost the lives of five hardworking men — sons, fathers, brothers to their families. We demand justice for them. S. Alam is one of the country's top industrialists, and they should be investigated for the non-payment of wages and the reasons that these workers were killed."

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