April 30, 2022: ICHRRF releases report on ethnic cleansing of minorities in Bangladesh
On April 30, 2022 various stakeholders convened with ICHRRF to reflect upon on and release the final report on a series of previously held hearings on ethnic cleansing and human Rights Violations that have been occurring since 1946 in the territory of current Bangladesh. The ICHRRF has had ongoing research, monitoring, and documentation on the insufferable human rights violations of non-Muslim minorities including Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Chakma Tribal communities in Bangladesh. The persecution, genocide, and ethnic cleansing of these non-Muslim communities is ongoing till today.
This inquiry was launched in response to mounting concerns reported by global activists and academics who have been monitoring the dwindling religious minority population in Bangladesh. The Commission also received reports that all previous advocacy to Human Rights organizations have been unsuccessful, with patently false counter-narratives being peddled by office-holders. ICHRRF held special hearings on December 18, 2021 where stakeholders gathered from three continents and four countries and witnesses testified under oath on the persistent and unyielding state-abetted persecution of religious and ethnic minorities of Bangladesh and to identify any possible efforts to stop the violence, protect all citizens, and offer restitution.
Between 1947 and 2001, approximately 50 million religious and ethnic minorities have disappeared from Bangladesh and over 3 million have been killed. Presently, less than 10% of Bangladesh is Hindu, down from 25% in 1947, and it is estimated that this Bangladeshi demographic may be entirely extinct by 2050. Social workers providing assistance on the front lines working with individuals and families have witnessed heartbreaking stories from the communities they serve. Religious and ethnic minorities including tribal communities have been unable to live safely or peacefully in Bangladesh for decades and have been subjected to unimaginable traumas that will affect their future generations for years to come. Their properties have been confiscated under the Enemy (Vested) Property Act. These people want nothing more than to return to their motherlands and live peacefully and safely, living with honor and dignity. However, their lives are at risk due to ethnic cleansing and genocide while the local Bangladesh Government turns a blind eye and deaf ear owing to parliamentary support from Islamist parties. This is entirely unacceptable and is an utter embarrassment for any modern society.
The ICHRRF seeks to raise public awareness and to implore governmental officials to respond swiftly in acknowledging these Human Rights atrocities, validating them, and correcting them. ICHRRF recommends governments to first begin by acknowledging and validating these Human Rights atrocities to initiate the healing process for these communities. The Commission recommends policy reforms, changes in law and a return to the original secular constitution. ICHRRF calls on the Bangladesh Government to immediately start corrective action and rehabilitation of minority Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Chakma Tribal communities and other indigenous persons. It is never too late to accept responsibility for inaction and right any injustices.