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A Roundtable Discussion on Promoting Human Rights Commemorating International Human Rights Day

Event Details

The event was held in Sydney, Australia on December 10, 2022


On Human Rights Day, 10th December 2022, a Round-Table Discussion was held in Sydney, Australia, where Senator David Shoebridge and other speakers called for the Australian government to take serious action against state violators of human rights, including Bangladesh. The event was jointly organized by the South Asian Policy Initiative (SAPI) and Global Voice for Humanity (GVH), and took place at the Lakemba Sports Club. The keynote paper was presented by exiled Bangladeshi journalist, academic, and author Dr. Mahmudur Rahman.

During the discussion, sanctions under the Magnitsky Act were suggested as an effective tool to deter human rights violators who exploit countries such as Bangladesh for wealth. It was mentioned that the Bangladeshi security force, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), had been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department the previous year, but the oppressive practices continued.

Speakers, including Zia Ahmad, Editor-in Chief of the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST, and Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman from the Asian Human Rights Commission, called for sanctions to be extended to other oppressive regimes, specifically highlighting human rights violations in Palestine, Kashmir, and India, as well as Bangladesh under the Hasina government.

Veronica Koman from Amnesty International mentioned that her organization would support sanctions if they were imposed by several governments together, in line with Amnesty policy standards. Koman also noted that the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, had announced the appointment of a Human Rights Ambassador, signaling the Australian government’s efforts towards improving human rights.

Many community representatives, human rights activists, and media personnel participated in the round-table discussion, expressing a unanimous belief that sanctions are an effective tool against regimes violating human rights. They urged Western countries to be more proactive in their approach to these violations. The event was moderated by Shibly Sohail, an academic from Charles Sturt University and the convenor of SAPI. The event ended with a thank you note from Mr Abdullah Yusuf Shamim and Dr Faroque Amin, both from Suprovat Sydney and SAPI.

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