Summary Report on the 5th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice

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The Liberation War Museum Dhaka, organized the 5th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice from 19 to 21 May, 2017. The three day conference was inaugurated by the Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali by addressing the inaugural session.

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There were five in-house panel discussions and one online streaming panel discussion in collaboration with Global Alliance Against Mass Atrocities (GAAMAC). A number of 13 Foreign participants from Argentina, India, United States of America, Germany, Belgium, Indonesia, Cambodia and Japan participated in this event.

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The first day consisted of the inaugural ceremony where the inaugural speech of Foreign Minister was followed by a heart-melting cultural program performed by Nrittya Nandan, Dhaka University Cultural Society and UCEP school.

On the second day there were three working sessions. The first one was on Justice for International Crimes: Global and National Context. Critical reflections on globalized politics, the trials of transition in Cambodia, the compared experience of International and national tribunals in regard to universal jurisdiction and the trends in genocide convictions at the ICT-BD etc were discussed by Dr. Katharina Hoffmann (Germany), Professor Alexander Hinton (USA), Daniel Feierstein (Argentina), Barrister Tureen Afroz (Bangladesh).

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The second one was on Recognition, Restitution, Rehabilitation of the Victims of Sexual Violence: Asian Story. In this session the sorrow of women all over the world during and after the war and the possible way to help them out was discussed by participants from Cambodia, Japan and Bangladesh- Chhay Visoth, Mina Watanabe, Zayed Hosssain and Monowara Begum.

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The second day concluded with a working panel on Domestic Tribunal for International Crime: Comparative Study. In this session the past and present state of domestic tribunals, their working method etc were discussed. Judge Carlos Rojanski from Argentina handed over the Liberation War Museum a scarf, a memoir from the mothers of Argentina whose sons have disappeared. The scarf contains the spirit of ‘We do not forget, we do not forgive, we do not reconciliate’. Md. Pizuar Hossain (Bangladesh), Judge Carlos Rozanski (Argentina), Justice Obaidul Hasan (Bangladesh) and Helen Jarvis’s (Cambodia) paper was presented. These three sessions were conducted by three distinguished Chair: Professor Adam Jones from USA, Dr. Anwara Syed Haq and Barrister M. Amirul Islam respectively.

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On the third and closing day of the conference, two working panel took place along with the GAAMAC roundtable discussion and poster presentation from the part of students.

The first working panel was on challenges and prospects of archiving tribunal documents. Preservation of politically potent records, the findings of biological document after liberation war of Bangladesh and the challenges of preservation in aspect of future aspiration were discussed by Trudy H. Peterson (USA), Dr. M A Hasan (Bangladesh) and Mofidul Hoque (Bangladesh) respectively.

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The second working panel was on Way forward to the end of impunity of past international crimes. The role of Jamaat-e-Islami as a threat for Bangladesh and the need for an international response, challenges of justice and impunity, an open letter to young researches and a legal analysis towards ending impunity for prosecuting Pakistani prisoners of war were discussed in this session. Dr. Siegfried Wolf (Belgium), Professor Adam Jones (Canada), Ashis Nandy (India) and Emraan Azad (Bangladesh) presented their paper.

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The sessions of second working panel were chaired by Dr. Helen Jarvis and Muhammad Abdul Hannan Khan respectively.

The GAMAAC (Global Alliance Against Mass Atrocity Crimes) roundtable discussion was on “How can dealing with the past contribute to prevent the recurrence of atrocities: What can and should we do?”. Sabrina Büchler of the GAAMAC Steering Group participated online, representing GAAMAC, on behalf of the Steering Group Chair, Mô Bleeker while Chhay Visoth, Hafid Abbas, Mofidul Hoque, Alex Hinton and Dr. Helen Jarvis participated sitting at Liberation War Museum.

A poster presentation on five different aspects of Bangladesh Genocide took place afterwards in participation of students from different universities of Bangladesh.

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The conference ended with a closing ceremony where Anisul Huq MP, Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, GOB honored the ceremony as chief guest.

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The entire conference was anchored and the team of volunteers was managed by Naureen Rahim, Research Associate of Liberation War Museum. 64 local students, 17 foreign participants and a number of professionals made this conference a huge success.

22.05.2017
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