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Protesters decry Bangladesh lynching, suspect confesses

The suspect confessed to the crime during his arrest.

By Ed Adamczyk
Protesters decry Bangladesh lynching, suspect confesses
A demonstration in Bangladesh sponsored by the rights group Odhikar. Photo courtesy of Odokhar.

SYLHET, Bangladesh, July 14 (UPI) -- A video depicting the lynching of a boy in Bangladesh, seen on social media, aroused angry protests as a suspect in his death was arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Vegetable vendor Samiul Alam Rajon, 13, accused of theft of a bicycle, was tied to a post and beaten by jeering attackers while pleading for his life on July 8 in Kumargoan, Bangladesh. An autopsy revealed he died of severe head injuries. A video of the attack, posted to social media, prompted protests, with hundreds of demonstrators in cities across the country demanding punishment of the suspects and claiming the incident was not random but symptomatic of the country's weak criminal justice system.

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Odhikar, a Bangladeshi human rights group, recently reported 903 people were lynched in Bangladesh since 2009, at least 60 in the past six months.

Local police arrested five people allegedly present at the incident, and are searching for two who they say were directly involved. Another suspect, Kamrul Islam, was arrested Monday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after members of the large expatriate Bangladeshi community in the city reported him to police. He publicly confessed to the crime as he was arrested.

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Demonstrators in Sylhet, the victim's hometown, formed a human chain surrounding his family's home, and new demonstrations Tuesday have been scheduled.

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