Demand for global recognition of 1971 genocide included by UN
The UN Human Rights Council has included the demand for international recognition of genocide committed by the Pakistani military forces and their collaborators against the Bangalis during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. The demand is included as agenda item 3 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 53rd session scheduled for June 19- July 14. Read more: Researchers, scholars urged to present facts of Bangladesh genocide before global community UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received the written statement issued by the Bangladeshi diaspora organisation, Stichting BASUG (Bangladesh Support Group) with Special Consultative Status of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN along with pro-liberation organisations seeking to establish a secular Bangladesh -- Aamra Ekattor, Projonmo '71, European Bangladesh Forum, and Seraji Foundation. The statement, which reiterated their demand for the “International Recognition of the 1971 genocide”, was circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1996/31 on 29 May. Read more: West must recognize 1971 genocide Pakistan army committed in Bangladesh: Shahriar Alam
Why hasn’t the UN recognised 1971 Bangladesh Genocide yet?
Seventy-five years after the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide came into force, one of its glaring failures has been not recognising the 1971 Bangladesh genocide and the 2017 genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar. This not only saddens us in Bangladesh, it also upsets many who have followed large scale massacre of human beings in various parts of the post-colonial world. Polish Jewish refugee lawyer Raphael Lemkin coined the word “genocide” in 1943 to describe the killing and destruction of people. The word is derived from the Greek “genos” (people, tribe or race) and the Latin “cide” (killing) against the backdrop of the Holocaust, that Winston Churchill said was a “crime without a name”. But Churchill’s double-standards remained the enduring feature of Western standpoint on how they look at a genocide or large scale engineered deaths. Churchill, the British “hero” who guided the Allies to victory in World War II and who attacked Hitler and the Nazis over the Jewish Holocaust, has been held responsible for triggering the Bengal famine that led to 3 million deaths in what was then undivided Bengal, the largest province of British India. Read more: 'Recognising the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971': ICSF welcomes US Congress initiative Madhusree Mukerjee, whose “Churchill’s Secret War” created waves and rattled many a British colonial apologist, has gone on record to equate Hitler’s extermination of 10 million Jews with Churchill’s presiding over the death of three million Bengalis through a famine orchestrated by policies linked to the British war effort. On December 9, 1948, the international community formally adopted a definition of genocide within the 1948 Convention – essentially enshrining the message of “never again” in international law. Rachel Burns of the York University questions whether the convention has achieved what it set out to do and focused on three of its key areas of failure. · First, the very application of the term “genocide” is applied too slowly and cautiously when atrocities happen. · Second, the international community fails to act effectively against genocides. · Third, too few perpetrators are actually convicted of their crimes. Read more: Declare Pakistan army action in 1971 ‘Genocide’: US congressmen introduce resolution Burns points to the many genocides that have occurred since the 1948 Convention and its ratification in 1951, and then points to the only three that have been legally recognised – and led to trials – under the convention: Rwanda in 1994, Bosnia (and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre), and Cambodia under the 1975-9 Pol Pot regime. Burns refers to the widespread killing and displacement of Yazidi by IS and of Rohingyas in Myanmar which are ongoing and recognised by the UN as a whole, but are yet to be officially recognised as genocides by some individual states. Similarly, 13 years after atrocities took place in the Sudanese region of Darfur, criminal investigations continue but no official charges of genocide have been made under the convention. Political scientist Adam Jones names the genocides committed under Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in 1988-91 in Iraq, and the genocide committed by West Pakistan forces against Bangladeshis in 1971. “And the list of ‘genocides’ that might fall under the UN definition is frighteningly long. The International Criminal Court is investigating several states in which human rights violations and war crimes ‘may’ have occurred,” says Rachel Burns. Read more: 1971 genocide: Need to work together to get recognition from UN, says DU VC As a passionate and patriotic Bangladeshi, I would like to argue that the UN should prioritize recognising the 1971 East Pakistan genocide against Bengalis for three reasons: · The number of people killed in then East Pakistan by Pakistani forces (regular army and collaborators) between March and December 1971 far exceeds the numbers of victims of the three genocides recognised by the UN. Nearly 3 million Bengalis of all faiths were massacred by the Pakistani forces. In comparison, 1.5 to 2 million deaths occurred at the hands of the murderous Khmer Rouge but these deaths were over a four year period between 1975 and 1979. Between 500000 to 650000 Tutsis were massacred by Hutus during the Rwandan civil war between April and August 1994. And the Balkan genocide casualty toll never crossed six digits. · The genocide in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was not just limited to random killings but involved both targeted murders (of intellectuals to leave behind a brain deficit) and also largescale rapes (nearly 300,000) of Bengali women as well as arson. · This genocide was carried out by the Pakistan army – and not by militias – which has since been designated by US and NATO as an “useful ally in the war against terror”. Read More: Chitra erosion threatens mass grave of 1971 in Magura A recognition of the 1971 East Pakistan genocide by the UN is not only important for the global body to regain its credibility and effectiveness but also to expose a military institution which is seen as of much strategic value in the West. The West has been fooled, somewhat willfully, into believing that the Pakistan army is useful in fighting terror in Afghanistan. There is enough evidence now to suggest that the Pakistani generals were always running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. They were allowing US and NATO a springboard for anti-Taliban operations but were also allowing Taliban safe shelter, training and weapons in Pakistan, without which the Taliban would have never survived, let alone emerge victorious to take over the country. The least the West, especially the US (which is very vocal about human rights violations in Bangladesh now), can do is to take the initiative to officially recognise the 1971 East Pakistan genocide. They should stop fooling their own citizens and taxpayers about the role of the Pakistani army in the war against terror. By recognising the 1971 genocide, they can hold the Pakistan army accountable for denying Bengalis the right to life during the Liberation War. Recognition of both 1971 East Pakistan genocide and the 2017 Rohingya genocide will help call out and expose two evil military institutions who threaten democracy and dignity of life in our part of the world. It is high time the West stops chasing phantoms and does its bit to punish mass murderers in our region. Otherwise, their sermons on human rights just ring hollow. Read More: Brave Women Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War Seventy-five years after the UN Convention, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s “never again” for genocide remains “a prayer, a promise, a vow” but also a frequent reality. And their frequent recurrence owes much to how many genocides have gone unrecognised and unpunished. Tarana Halim, an actress and lawyer, is a former Bangladeshi minister. She is now president of Bangabandhu Sanskritic Jote, a front for cultural movement against radicalism. She is also a member of Awami League central committee.
Saida Muna Tasneem requests British govt to recognise 1971 killing as genocide
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem has called on the British government to recognise the killing and repression of Bangladeshi people by the Pakistani army and their local collaborators in 1971 as genocide. Saida made the request at a special event organised by the High Commission (HC) commemorating the Martyred Intellectuals Day in London on Wednesday. “The Pakistan Army and their local collaborators tried to turn Bangladesh into an intellectually bankrupt nation by killing hundreds of intellectuals in 1971,” she said. The diplomat said that besides punishing the killers, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also taken various initiatives to let the people know about what happened on December 14 in 1971. Read: Saida Muna Tasneem receives ‘Woman of the Decade in Public Life, Diplomacy Award’ “We, the Bangladesh HC in the UK, are implementing these initiatives to make the British people aware of this dreadful massacre,” said Saida. Dr Meghna Guhathakurta, daughter of slain intellectual Dr Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta, Asif Munier, son of slain intellectual Munier Chowdhury and Shomi Kaisar, daughter of Shahidullah Kaisar, joined the event virtually from Dhaka.
1971 genocide: Need to work together to get recognition from UN, says DU VC
Professor Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman, Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) on Sunday said that the path to getting UN recognition of the genocide committed in Bangladesh in 1971 is not smooth. "So, we have to work together to meet our demand," he said, while addressing a coordination meeting organised by Amra Ekattor, an organization based on the ideology of the Liberation War on the occasion of the preparation of International Genocide Remembrance Day on 9th December. Therefore, the new generation should also be included in the realisation of this demand along with various organizations based on the liberation war. All must stand on a common platform and work together, he added. "No recognition has come easy. We have to keep fighting so international bodies like the UN can recognise the genocide of 1971," he added. Read: Experts urge government to turn DSE into public university He emphasized on increasing international communication at public and private levels including discussion, research, and publication on genocide issues. He also assured that Dhaka University will work as a leading party in realizing this demand. Bangabandhu professor Muntasir Mamun, the trustee of the 1971 Genocide-Torture Archive and Museum, said that recognition must first be obtained from the friendly countries of the liberation war to speed up the efforts to obtain UN recognition of the genocide, "To speed up the efforts to obtain UN recognition of the genocide, recognition must first be got from the friendly countries of the liberation war, said Muntasir Mamun. The general secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad, Prof. AB M Farooq, suggested various things including making documentaries on genocide in English for publicity in the international level. Considering its horror in 1971, three international organizations ' Lemkin Institute', 'Genocide Watch' and 'International Coalition for Sites of Conscience' have already recognised it as genocide. Since 2017, March 25 is observed as National Genocide Day in Bangladesh.
Declare Pakistan army action in 1971 ‘Genocide’: US congressmen introduce resolution
US congressman Steve Chabot, along with congressman of Indian origin Ro Khanna, introduced a resolution in US House of Representatives to declare Pakistan Army action against Bengalis and Hindus in 1971 during the Liberation War of Bangladesh as "genocide" and "crime against humanity". The Bangladesh Genocide of 1971 must not be forgotten, Chabot said. "With help from my Hindu constituents in Ohio’s First District, Rep Ro Khanna and I introduced legislation to recognize that the mass atrocities committed against Bengalis and Hindus, in particular, were indeed a genocide," he said. Read 1971 genocide by Pakistani military most heinous crimes in human history Chabot said they must not let the years erase the memory of the millions who were massacred. "Recognizing the genocide strengthens the historical record, educates our fellow Americans, and lets would-be perpetrators know such crimes will not be tolerated or forgotten," he tweeted. "Proud to join Rep Steve Chabot in introducing the first resolution commemorating the 1971 Bengali Genocide in which millions of ethnic Bengalis and Hindus were killed or displaced in one of the most forgotten genocides of our time," Khanna said. Read 1971 Genocide in Bangladesh: Govt efforts on to have UN recognition The 8-page resolution titled "Recognizing the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971" calls on the government of Pakistan, in the face of overwhelming evidence, to offer acknowledgment of its role in such genocide, offer formal apologies to the government and people of Bangladesh, and prosecute, in accordance with international law, any perpetrators who are still living. It condemns the atrocities committed by the Armed Forces of Pakistan against the people of Bangladesh from March 1971 to December 1971; recognizes that such atrocities against Bengalis and Hindus constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide; recalls the death and suffering of the countless victims of such atrocities and expresses its deep sympathy for the suffering. The resolution recognizes that entire ethnic groups or religious communities are not responsible for the crimes committed by their members; calls on the President of the United States to recognize the atrocities committed against ethnic Bengalis and Hindus by the Armed Forces of Pakistan during 1971 as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Read Mozammel batting for international recognition of genocide of 1971 The resolution to declare the Pakistan army's action in 1971 as 'Genocide' reaffirms the United States commitment to promoting peace, stability, and intercommunal harmony in the Indo-Pacific region, and the right of all people living in the region, regardless of national, racial, ethnic, or religious background, to enjoy the benefits of democratic institutions, the rule of law, the freedom of religion, and economic opportunity.
Discussion in UN: Recognition of 1971 genocide sought
The facts of 1971 Genocide are well documented, yet it has not been recognized in the UN discourses, says Bangladesh. "We believe UN's mandate to advance prevention will be incomplete if the past tragedies, such as ours, remain un-recognized," said Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations. She made the remarks at a virtual seminar on “Genocide prevention: recognition of past tragedies and restoring dignity of victims” organized by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York as part of the observance of the National Genocide Day 2022. Also read: Genocide Day: Bangladesh observes symbolic one-minute blackout
International coalition of rights bodies calls for recognition of 1971 genocide
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience has stood with its founding member, the Liberation War Museum, in calling on the United Nations General Assembly and other international entities to formally recognize the Bangladesh genocide of 1971- one of the darkest, yet most overlooked chapters in human history. In a release issued on Thursday, the organization expressed its solidarity with Bangladesh in this regard. Read:1971 Genocide: FM says it’s a shame for Pakistan The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a global network of historic sites, museums, and memorials that is dedicated to promote and protect human rights around the world. The 50th anniversary of the liberation urged all institutions and individuals concerned with justice and human rights to officially recognize the Bangladesh genocide and its profound impact on Bengalis past and present. “It is only through confronting the past with honesty and courage that we can acknowledge our shared humanity and truly flourish,” reads the release. Despite ample evidence of torture and extermination, the lack of formal international recognition of the Bangladesh genocide has meant that - fifty years later - no Pakistani war criminals have faced prosecution. This lack of accountability undermines human rights for all and is particularly painful for Bengalis. Not only are they denied justice, but a central component of their history is being erased, making closure and more peaceful futures out of reach. The Liberation War Museum has worked tirelessly for decades to raise global awareness of the genocide and honor its victims through a variety of platforms, including memorials at the sites of mass killings and the establishment a national museum dedicated to the genocide and its legacies. The museum's long history of engaging young people across Bangladesh through the collection of oral histories, mobile exhibits, cultural performances and other means ensures that younger generations will remember this history and its crucial lessons that must never be forgotten. Read:One-min blackout to mark Genocide Day tonight Additionally, in 2014 the museum established the Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice, which promotes research, documentation and education on genocide, as well as commemorates its victims. The genocide in 1971, a brutal campaign by Pakistan to suppress the Bengali independence movement, was carried out over a nine-month period. Millions of Bengalis were displaced to India and at least 200,000 were victims of sexual violence. While the reported numbers of those who died in the genocide varies there is no doubt that it took a huge toll in terms of death. Those who were targeted are also not in dispute: Bengalis, Hindus, intellectuals, artists, doctors, lawyers, students and others supporting independence.
1971 Genocide: FM says it’s a shame for Pakistan
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday hoped that the new generation of Pakistan will understand Pakistan Army’s genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 and raise their voice for perpetrators' punishment. “Pakistani junta who committed the genocide went unpunished. It’s very unfortunate and shameful. It’s a shame for Pakistan, too. They should have tried them,” he told reporters after attending a seminar in the city. Earlier, he spoke at a seminar titled “Bangladesh Genocide in 1971” as the guest of honor jointly organised by Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held at Liberation War Museum Auditorium, Agargaon. Read: Sampriti Bangladesh demands global recognition of 1971 genocide Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque spoke as the chief guest. Founding President of Genocide Watch Professor Gregory Stanton, renowned genocide expert Dr Helen Jarvis and Trustee of Liberation War Museum Mofidul Hoque also spoke. Momen said the parliament adopted the resolution to commemorate 25th March as the ‘Genocide Day’, marking day of the beginning of Bangladesh’s glorious nine-month long Liberation War. He said efforts are on to get international recognition of genocide and it was the day when the Pakistani army and its collaborators started one of the most heinous genocides of world history.
Sampriti Bangladesh demands global recognition of 1971 genocide
The families of freedom fighters and martyrs have demanded the global recognition of the Pakistan Army's brutal massacres of unarmed Bengalis in 1971 as 'genocide'. At the same time, they demanded that Pakistan punishes those responsible for the atrocity. They made the demands at a discussion on '1971’s Genocide and Pakistan's Barbarism'organized by Sampriti Bangladesh at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday. Read:AL appeals for global recognition of 1971 genocide Minister for Industries Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said Pakistan has to apologize for the killings that took place during the Liberation War in 1971. “Today it is proved that there has been massacre, genocide, 3 million of our people have been martyred, innumerable mothers and sisters have been tortured.” “We will try to establish March 25 as the Genocide Day,” the minister added. Although, March 25 has been observed nationally as Genocide Day since 2017, the day has not yet been recognized globally, said Convener of Sampriti Bangladesh Pijush Bandyopadhyay. “The United States has recently acknowledged the persecution of the Rohingya, but no country has acknowledged the horrific massacre of March 25 in 1971 in Bangladesh,” he said. Meanwhile, speakers at the event said that there was an attempt to distort the history of the horrors of March 25 after August 15, which is still going on. And so, they are trying to spread the spirit of the liberation war from house to house, the events of the genocide of March 25 in 1971, to give the ‘history’ to the new generation. Read: One-min blackout to mark Genocide Day tonight Sampriti Bangladesh Member Secretary Dr Mamun Al Mahtab, Member of Parliament Aroma Dutta, Bir Pratik Lt. Col. Sajjad Ali Zahir (Retd.), Col. Taufiqur Rahman (Retd.) and martyred intellectual's son Noto Kishore Aditya also spoke at the discussion.
AL appeals for global recognition of 1971 genocide
The ruling Awami League has again urged the international community to recognize the brutal massacres by Pakistani army on unarmed civilians in 1971 as 'genocide'. The 'appeal for justice' was made in a post, shared from AL verified account on Facebook, accompanied by a video provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read: Sampriti Bangladesh demands global recognition of 1971 genocide "Bengalis wanted to be heard, to be recognised as equal to the West Pakistani rulers. Instead, they were killed mercilessly in their sleep," the post said. "On 25th March, Yahya Khan's sidekick Tikka Khan mobilized death squads to initiate 'Operation Searchlight'. They killed 7000 Bengalis in a single night. From that day till the end of the Liberation War 1971, Pakistani soldiers raped more than 200,000 women and killed more than 3 million people," reads the post. This massive genocide displaced 30-40 million Bengalis and more than 10 million people took refuge in India. The Hamoodur Rahman Commission's report is the most critical piece of evidence of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide. Read: One-min blackout to mark Genocide Day tonight This report found the Pakistani military deployed in East Pakistan guilty of widespread atrocities, serious acts of human rights violations, other abuses of power, it said. "Then PM of Pakistan ZA Bhutto ordered to burn every copy of this report. These heinous crimes are yet to be universally recognised as genocide. Not recognising the events of 1971 as genocide will not just be severe injustice done to the memories of the victims of genocide, it will be an injustice done to history itself," the Facebook post reads.