World human rights leaders remember the martyrs of 71 at Brussels Press Club

News Desk

From Brussels: On International Genocide Remembrance and Prevention Day, the human rights leaders of different countries of the world paid respect to the three million martyrs of Bangladesh who died in the Liberation War of 1971 in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.

World human rights leaders paid their respects to the martyrs of Bangladesh who were victims of genocide at the Meet the Press event held at the Brussels Press Club on the second day of the two-day international human rights conference organised by the International Forum for Secular Bangladesh on Friday, 9 December.

International human rights leader, a former member of the European Parliament, Portuguese politician, and executive director of the South Asia Democratic Forum, Paulo Casaca chaired the event. Opening remarks were made by Shahriar Kabir, President of the International Forum for Secular Bangladesh. Others who were present and spoke were the President of the World Sindhi Congress Dr Lakhumal Luhana, President of Turkey’s 21st Century Forum for Humanity Ferhat Atik, chairman of Polish human rights organisation Never Again, Dr Rafal Pankowski, Afghan women’s human rights organiser exiled in Germany, Arya Sooriya, executive president of Baloch Human Rights Council Dr Nasir Dashti, Polish human rights activist Natalia Sineaeva-Pankowska, a member of Never Again, UK-based security analyst Indian writer Priyajit Dev Sarkar, Uzbekistani human rights activist Fayzullo Nematov, Burundian social worker Amissa Ntakirutiman and Rwandan human rights activist Andrew Rubanzangabo.

Dr Nuzhat Choudhury, daughter of Martyred Dr Alim Choudhury, Asst General Secretary of the International Forum for Secular Bangladesh read out the memorandum submitted to the EU Parliament demanding international recognition of the 1971 genocide. The Meet the Press event was conducted by human rights activist Asif Munier Tonmoy, son of martyred Professor Munier Chowdhury. European Forum for Secular Bangladesh President Tarun Kanti Chowdhury and branch leaders of different organisation countries were present at the event.

President of the World Sindhi Congress, Dr Lakhumal Luhana, in his emotional speech, demanded international recognition of the genocide by the Pakistani invading forces in 1971 and said that the context of this genocide was created in 1952 through the attempt to take away the Bengali language. But Bengalis did not stop protecting their language with their blood, they chased the Pakistani invaders from their land with the loss of three million lives. He said that the Bengali nation is our main inspiration in the Sindhi nation’s struggle today to get out of the oppression of the Pakistani invaders.

Executive President of Baloch Human Rights Council. Nasir Dashti said we also must accept the fate of Bengalis in the future because the Baloch understood this in the 1970s, and we supported the Bengali liberation struggle. We are continuing our struggle with inspiration from the struggle of Bengalis half a century ago.

Chairman of the human rights organisation Never Again in Poland, Rafal Pankowski, said, “No more genocide” in the world, along with this slogan, “We want international recognition and justice for all genocide” – the peace-loving world should raise this slogan. We have to do this by recognising the Bengali genocide of 1971.

President of Turkey’s 21st Century Forum for Humanity, Mr Ferhat Atik, said, “I think that the mass killings organised by the Pakistani forces in the name of religion in 1971 is a stain on the believers of the world.” International recognition of this genocide is necessary to erase this stigma. The world community cannot ignore the movement for this recognition.

President of the Meet the Press program, Executive Director of South Asia Democratic Forum, Mr Paolo Casaca, pointed to America and Europe and said, “What kind of hypocrisy is it to advise on the human rights of different countries of the world while wanting to avoid the recognition of human rights violated by the most brutal genocide in history half a century ago.” He said that the Bengali genocide of 1971 is a stain on civilisation. Recognise this genocide if only to establish yourselves as leaders of civilization.

The event’s opening speaker, Shahriar Kabir, president of Secular for Bangladesh, expressed his gratitude for the continued support of world human rights leaders to recognise the Bengali genocide and bring those involved to justice. He added that this unprecedented support of human rights leaders in today’s movement to recognise the genocide that took place fifty years ago proves the position of peace-loving people on behalf of humanity. We are grateful.

Former Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, president of the South Asian Peoples Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism, delivered the concluding speech.

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