Rally Remembering Victims of Enforced Disappearance on August 30, 2022

Location: Sydney

Date: August 30, 2022



International Day of the Victims of the Enforced Disappearance was observed in Sydney in Australia on August 30 in an event jointly organised by the South Asian Policy Initiative and the Global Voice for Humanity.

A large audience gathered in front of the Parliament House in Sydney to protest against ongoing enforced disappearance in many countries, said a press release.

Political and social leaders, human rights activists, representatives from various ethnic communities and general public were present at this event.

This event was initiated by First Nations representatives indigenous Australian artist Nadeena Dixon and Uncle Dave Bell.

South Asian Policy Initiative secretary Shibly Sohail presided over the event.

Lead speaker senator David Shoebridge, a leader of the Australian Greens, said that Australia legislated the Global Magnitsky Act and the government should bring the foreign perpetrators who use Australia as their safe haven to justice under this law.

According to the senator, enforced disappearance and abduction were crimes that took place against the traditional owners of this land on the site. The same crime occurring in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and other countries, he said.

The United States has recently sanctioned the Rapid Action Batallion of Bangladesh and if Australia does not prioritise human rights issues at the expense of other trivial matters, that would be a short-sighted strategy, he added.

Former senator Lee Rhiannon described enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity and said that the international community must take a firm stand against this heinous crime.

Amnesty International Australia representative Veronica Koman said that her organisation kept working against these state-sponsored crimes in many countries.

The international response is, however, still not adequate in this matter, she said.

Renuga Inpakumar of the Tamil Refugee Council provided a heart-wrenching account of torture, abduction and murder of Tamil people by Sri Lankan military.

Sri Lanka has now taken second place in terms of enforced disappearance numbers, she said.

Mohammad Rauf of Rohingya community from Myanmar, Amar Singh of Sikh community from India, Anjum Rafiqi of Kashmiri community from India and Joe Collins of West Papuan community from Indonesia talked about the plights, struggles and sufferings of their people.

Various representatives of Bangladeshi community also delivered their speeches.

Bangladesh is now known as the enforced disappearance capital of the world, they said.

The present government has abducted more than 600 opposition leaders and activists over the past decade, many of whom have been lost for several years and even a decade, they said.

Alongside torture, murder and other means of oppression, the government is using enforced disappearance as a tool to spread fear and terror, said.

Among the Bangladesh leaders, Moslehuddin Arif, Kudrat Ullah Liton, Sohel Mahmud Iqbal, Mohammad Hyder Ali, Faruk Hossain, and Rashed Khan presented their speeches.

Rahat Shantanu sang a song and Habib Rahman recited a poem commemorating countless victims of enforced disappearance.

At the end, Md Abdullah Yousuf, a senior member of the event organising committee, thanked all participants and announced the event’s closing.

On the same day, a representative group led by Shibly Sohail and Faroque Amin submitted a memorandum to consulate general of Bangladesh in Sydney Md Ashfaq Hussain.

In the memorandum, the event organisers demanded Bangladesh government to stop the heinous practice of enforced disappearance immediately, bring back the victims and cooperate fully with a UN commission into this crime against humanity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top