December 19, 2021 - ICHRRF conducts Hearings on Human Rights Violations in Bangladesh
On Saturday, December 18, 2021, the International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom (ICHRRF) conducted a special open Hearing on the current threats and challenges faced by non-Muslim minorities in Bangladesh. The Hearing was held virtually and participants based in Bangladesh, the US and Europe participated and testified before the Committee. The proceedings were recorded and may be viewed on ICHRRF's Youtube channel.
The following witnesses submitted evidence and provided testimony under an oath administered by ICHRRF's Legal Counsel Mr. Hardam Tripathi, Esq: Dr. Richard Benkin, Mr. Utsav Chakraborti, Prof. Chandan Sarkar, Mr. Dipan Mitra, Ms. Aarti Agarwal, Prof. Dwijen Bhattacharjya.
All the above intellectuals have decades-long association with Bangladesh and have been working assiduously for the cause of Bangladesh's religious minorities, with several credits to their names. The Hearings were chaired by renowned professor of Law, Prof. Ved Nanda, and co-chaired by Dr. Adityanjee, President of ICHRRF. A detailed report of the proceedings will be released within a month, compiled by Special Rapporteur Mr. Carl Clemens.
Bangladesh has made the headlines several times this year for large-scale riots and mob attacks on the country's minorities, particularly the dwindling Hindu minority. Rohingya Hindu refugees stranded in Bangladesh, almost completely ignored by the international media, are also being harassed, molested and denied assistance by locals and authorities. While ICHRRF has published a paper on the plight of Bangladesh's Hindu, Buddhist and Christian minorities and reports on the Hindu Rohingya (2017, 2020), international Human Rights bodies appear to have turned a blind eye to these victims or rationalized this upward trend in violence. Dr. Richard Benkin has characterized the United States Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as a deeply flawed organization. The violence this year marks an escalation in the decades-long spasmodic ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, which began after its partition from India as part of East Pakistan, and continued unabated after its separation from Pakistan in 1971.
This Hearing by ICHRRF was roundly appreciated by Bangladeshi asylees and the Bangladeshi Hindu, Buddhist and Christian diaspora. In the past, ICHRRF has also conducted a webinar by Ms. Priya Saha titled 'The Persecution of Bangladesh's Minorities and their Demographic Decline'.