How to get int'l recognition of 1971 genocide | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:13 AM, March 27, 2017

How to get int'l recognition of 1971 genocide

Campaign group ICSF suggests seven-point strategy

The International Crimes Strategy Forum (ICSF) has called upon the Bangladesh government to “seriously consider” its "seven-prong strategy" as part of a broader roadmap towards achieving global recognition of the genocide that took place in the country in 1971.

The campaign group said it reminded the United Nations and other international bodies that they were yet to grant official recognition to the Bangladesh genocide, and that it was their moral obligation to do so “without any further delay”.

ICSF is an independent global network of experts and activists, working in the interest of justice for the victims of international crimes. It has long campaigned for the recognition of the Bangladesh genocide.

As part of its seven-point strategy, ICSF suggested engaging with the Indian government regarding access to war-time military records and actively engaging with the international organisations for acknowledgement of the 1971 atrocities as genocide and international crimes, according to a statement it issued yesterday.

ICSF also laid emphasis on engaging with other foreign governments and entities with shared, strategic, or mutually advantageous interests involving recognition of the 1971 genocide; implementing "genocide risk education" in Bangladesh, and making it part of the national educational curriculum.

The independent global body suggested preserving important sites relating to the Liberation War, and properly investing in their development and maintenance.

Another recommendation is investing in the development of a knowledge base relating to the history of 1971, which includes archiving and digitising documents and making them easily accessible.

On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistani military started the genocide against defenceless Bangalees, which continued for nine months till the nation achieved victory on December 16.

In its statement, ICSF said the adoption of the recent resolution of the Bangladesh Parliament declaring March 25 as “Genocide Day” was significant because it reinforced the findings of the justice process of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh and set a milestone in honouring the victims of international crimes in 1971.

The adoption of the resolution facilitates regional and international recognition of the Bangladesh genocide, and instils a greater understanding of the mechanics of genocide in all its forms as a nation-building exercise, which may serve as a preventive safeguard against repetition of such atrocities in the future, according to the statement.

Commemorating the day, ICSF announced to intensify the “ICSF Global Campaign on Bangladesh Genocide”, its flagship campaign for recognition of the international crimes committed in 1971.

As part of this ongoing campaign, ICSF has started to publish in social networks commemorative video messages from victims, survivors, freedom fighters, activists and campaigners, in which participants shared their lessons and pledges regarding the genocide.

ICSF says it believes that this is the beginning of an accountability process that will hold responsible all Pakistani military personnel who took part in international crimes in 1971.

ICSF demanded that investigations be geared up so that members of the Pakistan Army, whether they are living in Bangladesh, Pakistan or elsewhere, could be brought to justice.

To facilitate the investigation against the atrocities by the Pakistan Army, ICSF called on the Indian government to disclose all records concerning the Liberation War.

The Indian government should follow the footsteps of the United States of America and others countries that have declassified a significant volume of documents relating to Bangladesh's Liberation War, the organisation said.

In this regard, ICSF called upon the Bangladesh government to engage with the Indian government to secure these vital documents concerning genocide and international crimes. 

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