One of those implicated in the protests was Kalpona Akter, the head of BCWS, who told ABC News in a recent interview that she was concerned that her group and others could face intimidation or even jail time if they continued to fight for safer working conditions and better pay in Bangladesh.
In her interview, Akter told ABC News that she was willing to accept the risk involved in fighting for better working conditions.
"I was the worker," she said. "I have experienced [working] 23 days in a row …I was sleeping in shop floor. I was taking sometime shower in toilets. I was drinking unsafe water. I have been slapped by the supervisor. So I don't want to see anymore workers go the same way."
Nova told ABC News he believed that U.S. companies should use their leverage inside Bangladesh to improve conditions for workers.
"For two years, labor rights groups have been calling on Wal-Mart and other companies that produce in Bangladesh to use their power to protect the BCWS staff, and other labor rights advocates, from the government's campaign of repression," said Nova. "Instead, they just increase their production in the country, which sends exactly the wrong message to the government and the factory owners."
PVH Corp., Nike, Ralph Lauren and Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to requests for comment.