Geneva, March 26 (Our Voice) – Bangladeshi diaspora organisation, European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) organized a two day long demonstration on 25-26 March in front of the historic broken chair, close to the UN building in Geneva, Switzerland demanding international recognition of the genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani armed forces in the nine months of the liberation war in 1971. The program was organized in collaboration with the International Human Rights Commission Bangladesh Switzerland.
Dr. Mojibur Doftori, a writer and senior researcher from Finland facilitated the demonstration. The demonstration was addressed among others by Rahman Khalilur Mamun, Director of International Human Rights Commission Bangladesh, Switzerland, Nazrul Islam, President of Switzerland Awami League, Shyamal Khan, General Secretary, Switzerland Awami League, prominent exiled blogger from Bangladesh Omi Rahman Pial, President of Baloch Voice Munir Baloch, EBF Representative Abdul Hai, Palash Barua, General Secretary of International Forum for Secular Bangladesh (IFSB), Switzerland, Mashiur Rahman Sumon, Vice President, Switzerland Awami League, Arun Barua, President of Bangladesh Minority Council Switzerland, Local Awami League leaders Sasim Gauri Charan, Nipu Barua, Sajia Rahman, Sumon Chakma, Mohammad Mojammel Jewel, Akbar Ali, Ayan Junayed, Masum Khan Dulal, IFSB Switzerland Advisor Hasan Imam Khan, Dilip Dhar, Switzerland Awami League Adviser Abdur Rob, Ashraful Alam Liton, Asharaful Alam Azad, Mia Abul Kalam, Organizing Secretary of the All European Freedom Fighters Association.
Bangladeshi expatriates, politicians, academics, researchers and human rights activists took part in the protest. The programme of protests and human chain were broadcast live on various television channels in Bangladesh and the London-based British Bangla News channel.
In 1971, the Pakistani military and its local allies carried out one of the world’s worst genocide in the twentieth century. In nine months, Pakistani army killed nearly three million people, sexually abused more than two hundred thousand women and forced one million people to flee their homeland and seek refuge in India. The death toll at the hands of the Pakistani military is the highest in the history of the world in such a short period of time. The Pakistan Army genocide of 1971 is well documented and reflected in the international media and also in the diplomatic correspondence of the time.
State Minister for Labor and Employment of Bangladesh, Begum Munnujan Sufian inaugurated the demonstration. Addressing the demonstration the state minister, who is on an official visit, said, it was time for recognition of Bangladesh genocide by Pakistani army and its accomplices. It is high time for honoring the victims of genocide and their descendants through recognition. It is important to recognize the genocide and to bring perpetrators to justice. Unfortunately, the genocide against Bengalis has become a forgotten chapter in the history today and we all know that ‘justice delayed, justice denied.’
She said, ‘we have to learn from history. We need to understand the mistakes of the past and work together to build a better world for the new generation in Bangladesh and Europe. Today we face social injustice all over the world and as politicians and people we cannot remain silent.