Highlighting the horrors of genocide

The horrors of the Bangladesh Liberation War were the focal point of a book recently published by New Millennium, an affiliation of Asian Affairs magazine, and launched at the Washington Mayfair Hotel in London on Wednesday November 27.

Dr William Crawley of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies chaired the event, setting out a brief historical background to the themes of Dr M A Hasan’s book, Beyond Denial: The Evidence of a Genocide, and its provenance.

The author and editor were there to discuss the work, which charts in graphic detail the genocide perpetrated by the Pakistani military in its suppression of Bengali nationalism. Dr Hasan’s own eye-witness accounts offer ‘compelling and irrefutable evidence’ of some of the most inhumane acts ever committed.

Two weeks later, on Thursday December 12, The Democracy Forum held its final debate of 2013 in the House of Commons. Speakers included Professor Martin Shaw of Sussex and Roehampton Universities; Dr Nigel Eltringham from the International Network of Genocide Scholars; and Dr M A Hasan, author of Beyond Denial and convener of the War Crimes Fact Finding Committee (WCFFC), Bangladesh.

Among the topics discussed were the scope of the problem of genocide today and issues of intervention; what motivated the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh, why it had been ignored by the Western media, and whether this was connected with Pakistan’s then alliance with the United States.

The events were well attended by members of the press, public and various think tanks.