Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Make sure USCIRF acts on Bangladeshi Hindu evidence

Some months back, principles from the Hindu American Foundation contacted me about the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).  USCIRF was created as part of the International Religious Freedom Act during the Clinton Administration to help the US government consider issues of religious freedom in its foreign policy; although geopolitical considerations sometimes trump that, as in the cases of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  USCIRF was finally going to address the Bangladeshi Hindu issue, and they asked me for contacts inside Bangladesh who could provide concrete evidence of the atrocities and of the Bangladeshi government's complicity.  That was an easy assignment, and based on my information, USCIRF met with Bangladeshi human rights activist and attorney, Rabindra Ghosh who provided tons of verified evidence.

Now that USCIRF has the evidence, we have to make sure it acts on it?

Like so many others, USCIRF was enamored with Bangladesh's Awami League and actually upgraded Bangladesh's status when that party took power.  After more than a full term in office, the Awami League has proven its involvement in allowing its Hindu citizens to be forcibly converted to Islam, driven out, or killed; and even participates in some of the actions. If you care about the Hindus in Bangladesh, phone, fax, or email the following message to USCIRF:

The government of Bangladesh has been complicit in the ethnic cleansing of Hindus and supporting attacks on their religious freedom. Extensive evidence from independent witnesses confirms this, and in its recent trip to Bangladesh, USCIRF saw it. As such, we urge you to take strong action, including formal US recognition of the ethnic cleansing and the Bangladeshi government's role in it, and to place Bangladesh among Tier 1 Countries, where "particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated."  Thank you.

Here is the contact information in order of impact:  Phone 202-523-3240; Fax 202-523-5020; Email media@USCIRF.gov.

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