Magnitsky Act is one of the best effective tools to prevent human rights violators who oppress people in countries such as Bangladesh, gather vast wealth through corruption and finally find safe havens in Western countries. The Australian government should take serious actions against such perpetrators, said Senator David Shoebridge in a Round-Table Discussion organised on
Magnitsky Act is one of the best effective tools to prevent human rights violators who oppress people in countries such as Bangladesh, gather vast wealth through corruption and finally find safe havens in Western countries. The Australian government should take serious actions against such perpetrators, said Senator David Shoebridge in a Round-Table Discussion organised on Human Rights Day.
South Asian Policy Initiative (SAPI) and Global Voice for Humanity (GVH) jointly organised this Round-Table Discussion on 10th December 2022 afternoon in Sydney, Australia. At the event, the keynote paper was presented by Dr Mahmudur Rahman, an exiled Bangladeshi journalist, a renowned academic, author and the Editor of Amar Desh newspaper.
At the beginning of the discussion, Uncle David Bell, Aboriginal elder and indigenous community leader, acknowledged the traditional owners of the country and paid respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. He mentioned that the aboriginal people in this continent faced gross human rights violations for centuries, and it is never too late to remedy that injustice.
In his paper titled “Calling for sanction against human rights abusers”, Dr Mahmudur Rahman provided an account of how the fascist government of Bangladesh has been carrying out extrajudicial murders, enforced disappearance, torture and mass arrest for more than a decade. He mentioned that the US Treasury Department sanctioned the Bangladeshi security force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) last year, but the autocratic government didn’t stop their inhumane practices. He called for more western countries to impose sanctions on Bangladesh’s fascist government to force them to stop such practices.
Senator David Shoebridge stated that the Australian government sanctioned Iran and Russia on the very day of this event for their human rights violation. However, according to the Senator, the Australian government needs to take more effective measures against many other autocratic regimes, including Bangladesh. He mentioned that he is committed to working towards this cause in the federal parliament in the upcoming days.
Zia Ahmed, the Editor in Chief of the Australasian Muslim Times, said that the sanction imposed by the Australian government is ideologically influenced. It should take more just and objective stances against other oppressive regimes.
Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman from Asian Human Rights Commission stated that the worst outcome of human rights abuse in Bangladesh is the denial of justice for the people. He said that the same RAB sanctioned by the US Treasury Department was trained by the UK security forces as recently as in October 2022, which is a betrayal by the British government of its taxpaying citizens.
Veronica Koman from Amnesty International said that her organisation could support if a sanction is imposed by several governments together due to its policy standards. However, it is aware of the situation in Bangladesh and many other countries and working towards stopping human rights abuse. She mentioned that the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs announced on the same day that the government would appoint a Human Rights Ambassador, which indicates that the Australian government is working towards a positive outcome in this regard.
Several other community representatives, human rights activists and media personnel joined this conversation. Among them, James Supple from Refugee Action Coalition, Renuga Inpakumar from the Tamil community, Farid Galib from Refugee Advice and Casework Services, Ziad el-Daud from Islamic Charity Projects Association, Syed Atiq ul Hassan from Tribune International, Hanif Bismi from 5News Australia, Fauk Ahmed Khan, a prominent Bangladeshi community leader, Mohammad Mosleh Uddin Arif from BNP Australia, Sohel Iqbal and Zakir Alam Lenin from Zia Forum Australia, Habibur Rahman, a human rights activist, Faruk Hossain from Care Bangladesh and Munni Chowdhury Medha, a Bangladeshi pollical activist talked about human rights situation in various countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Palestine and so on. All participants agreed that the sanction is an effective tool to stop those human rights violating regimes and the western countries need to do much more than what they are doing now.
Shibly Sohail, the convenor of the South Asian Policy Initiative (SAPI), moderated this event’s discussion. In the end,Md. Abdullah Yousuf , the only Bangladeshi community newspaper in Australia Editor in Chief-Suprovat Sydney, and Dr Faroque Amin, the Editor of Suprovat Sydney and the Treasurer of SAPI, thanked all the participants for their valuable contributions and demonstration of their commitment to the cause of human rights globally.
Muslim Community Radio – FM 92.1 (2MFM) attended the program.