More than three years after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building near Dhaka killed over 1,100 people, a Bangladesh court on Monday formally charged 38 people with murder for their role in the catastrophe.
It’s been described as the worst disaster in the global garment industry’s history.
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Thirty-five of those charged—including building owner Sohel Rana—appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty, Reuters reports.
In addition to those charged with murder, three other people were charged with helping Rana flee.
As NPR reported, “Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24, 2013, with hundreds of workers inside. Survivors say workers were forced to go inside the building, even though a visible crack was forming.”
“Tragically,” Michelle Chen wrote at In These Times in the wake of the disaster, “it took the scale of the carnage at Rana Plaza to shine light on a barely regulated industry known for treating its Global South workforce—which profits from vast numbers of rural migrant women workers with few other job options—as disposable tools.”
As Common Dreams has noted, it also “shined a global spotlight on the complicity of U.S.- and Europe-headquartered corporations,” while Joe Westby, corporate campaigner at Amnesty International, wrote that “the images of dead workers in the debris of the collapsed factory have become powerful symbols of the pursuit of profit at the expense of people.”
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