As Bangladeshi individuals and organisations engaged in seeking justice for those subjected to violations of rights, we welcome the request of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor for a ruling by ICC judges on whether the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate the deportation of Rohingya people from Myanmar from 25 August 2017 onwards. We call on the Government to respond to the invitation from ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I to Bangladesh authorities to submit, by 11 June 2018, observations on the question and to support the Prosecutor’s request.
All your armies, all your fighters,
All your tanks, and all your soldiers,
Against a boy holding a stone.
Standing there all alone,
In his eyes I see the sun.
In his smile I see the moon.
And I wonder, I only wonder.
Who is weak, and who is strong?
Who is right, and who is wrong?
And I wish, I only wish,
That the truth has a tongue!
Photo by Natalie Soysa, for Groundviews In August this year, Groundviews will launch a compelling collection of content to commemorate 30 years since Black July. The content will feature original podcasts, photography and writing on a dedicated website.
Living in the majority world, we have learnt to expect Western hypocrisy. We are used to the rhetoric on democracy accompanying active support of pliant dictators.? We see Western governments preaching human rights, while actively engaging in torture.? Assisting state machineries involved in torture. We see the deification of dissidents in non-Western countries, while Western dissidents are vilified, tortured, sometimes killed. We see extrajudicial killings being approved by presidents, because it is more cost-effective.
With the persecution of??Snowden?however, they appear to have given up the pretense. No longer are they concerned with appearing to be moral. A US citizen is being victimized because he believes in the core principles of his nation?s constitution. His crime lies in being patriotic. For putting public interest before state servitude. Snowden?is indeed guilty. He spoke the truth. He protested against injustice. He upheld the rights of the common citizen. It is a guilt I would be proud to share. He should wear it as a badge of honour. Snowden?is doing precisely what the founding fathers of the United States would have wished him to do. The spying by NSA is an assault on all of us who genuinely believe in democracy. A belief many have died for.
From the ashes of this witch hunt, many more Snowdens will surely rise. Shahidul Alam
22nd August 2013
Stephen Dupont, Jack Picone and Tim Page are other photographers who are expressing their solidarity
Related links: Father of Edward?Snowden?issues open letter to Obama denouncing ?Orwellian surveillance programs? Australian film director Paul Cox denounces US-led manhunt of EdwardSnowden Deepa Mehta also protests
Dan Somers (right) performing at his band?s CD Release Show (Phoenix New Times/Melissa Fossum)
On June 10, 2013, 30-year-old Iraq War veteran Daniel Somers killed himself after writing a powerful letter to his family explaining his reasons for doing so.
?My mind is a wasteland filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give,? reads the letter, which Somers? family allowed?Gawker?to?publish. Somers went on to reveal the source of his pain: Continue reading “Forced to Participate In War Crimes”
Hundreds of thousands of people?have held?protests in Bangladesh to demand?that the government introduce an anti-blasphemy law that would include the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.
Protest organisers called Saturday’s rally the “long march”, with many travelling from remote villages to the capital, Dhaka’s Motijheel area that became a sea of white skull caps and robes. Continue reading “Al Jazeera: Bangladesh protesters demand blasphemy law”
Old ghosts stalk the streets of Dhaka. Over the past month, tens of thousands of people have gathered at Shahbag, near the National Museum in downtown Dhaka, demanding justice over the war crimes of 1971. There is a large portrait of Jahanara Imam, the ?mother of martyrs,? who lost her son during the war, and fought for justice for all those who perished. She died in 1994, but her spirit is vividly present at Shahbag. Continue reading “What Pakistan left behind”
Bangladesh?s quest for closure threatens to morph into the paralysing dysfunctionality that has characterized its politics. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
One of the truly significant aspects about the emotional upsurge at Shahbag in Dhaka?the hundreds of thousands of candles, the portrait of Jahanara Imam who lost her son in the liberation war in 1971 and fought for the rest of her life seeking justice?is that an overwhelmingly large number of the demonstrators are under the age of 40. Most were not born when Bangladesh emerged from its blood-soaked birth. Their fight is outwardly for an even harsher punishment (meaning death) for Abdul Kader Mullah, the Jamaat-i-Islami leader who foolishly flashed a victory sign when he was sentenced to life in prison for complicity in war crimes, and others against whom verdicts are awaited. But more fundamentally, they are trying to regain history, to assert their identity. Too often has the promise of Bangla nationalism been stolen, its national aspiration challenged, its spirit of unity based on language?irrespective of faith?reviled, its past rewritten, and the generation that fought for independence betrayed. Now it is time to reclaim the past. Continue reading “Crowds and justice at Shahbag”
A campaign of violence by Bangladesh?s main Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, has left 74 people dead since February 28. They are protesting the death sentence handed down against senior Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee by the International Crimes Tribunal, set up by the ruling Awami League.