Demo & Conference in Geneva on Sept 30 for Recognition of Genocide in 1971

Geneva, September 26 (EBF/OurVoice): Europe-based Diaspora organisation, European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) in collaboration with Switzerland Human Rights Commission Bangladesh will hold an international conference on ‘Recognition of 1971 Bangladesh Genocide’ at the Geneva Press Club, Switzerland on 30 September from 13:30 to 17:00 CEST.

Earlier on the same day at 12:00-13:00, EBF will hold a demonstration in front of the Broken Chair at the United Nations building in Geneva. A documentary film on ‘War Crimes 1971’ will also be screened in the conference.

The Conference will be addressed among others by the Member of the European Parliament Brando Benifei (Italy), Member of the British Parliament from Labour Party Rushanara Ali, former Member of the Dutch Parliament Harry van Bommel (Socialist Party), Professor of Amsterdam Vrije University Prof Dr. Anthonie Holslag, Dutch journalist of  de Volkskrant (Correspondent in Istanbul, Turkey) Rob Vreeken, Trustee of International Crimes Strategy Forum (ICSF), UK Dr Rayhan Rashid and member of the Genocide victim family Asif Munir from Bangladesh. The conference will also be addressed by President of EBF UK Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Director of Switzerland Human Rights Commission Bangladesh Khalilur Rahman and EBF Netherlands President Bikash Chowdhury while Dr. Mojibur Doftori, a writer and senior researcher from Finland will chair.

The demonstration in front of the Broken chair and the conference at the Press Club will be live broadcast by the television channels from Bangladesh (Ekattor Television and Somoy Television) and from UK by the British Bangla News.

1971 Genocide in Bangladesh committed by the Pakistan military and their local collaborators is one of the worst mass atrocities that the world witnessed in the 20th century. The Pakistani occupation army in 9 months killed approximately 3 million people, violated over two hundred thousand women and forced 10 million people to cross the border and take shelter in India. This number of people killed by the Pakistani Army is the highest in such a short time.

The 1971 Genocide by the Pakistan Army is well documented and reported in the international media and also in the diplomatic correspondences during that period. The world media including The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times, The New York Times and several news agencies reported the massacre of the Bengalis by the Pakistan Army. The story of the massacre of the fateful night of 25 March 1971 was highlighted in the international news media. The Pakistan Army committed systematic and organized rape as a special weapon of war. Young girls and women were abducted and repeatedly raped and gang-raped in special camps run by the Army near Army barracks (Rounaq Jahan, Genocide in Bangladesh). The Pakistani Army under a blue print systematically killed the intellectuals and professionals of Bangladesh, apart from the mass killing.

Therefore, without further delay, there needs to be an UN-sponsored Resolution condemning the Pakistanis. Then perpetrators must be brought to justice. The new generation must know what treatment was meted out to Bangladeshi people, who deserve to enjoy equal human rights.

Unfortunately, Bangladesh genocide has today become a forgotten chapter in the history and we know the common phrase, ‘Justice delayed, justice denied’. Due to lack of international recognition, the history of that horror, Genocide has become faded in the world context today. Bangladeshi community in Europe feel that the 1971 Genocide should be recognised by the international community to give justice to the victims of the atrocities meted out by the Pakistan Army and its political leadership and their local Bangladeshi collaborators.

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