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Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mumbai condemns the attack on Hindus in Bangladesh and Christians in Pakistan

10 March 2013

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URGENT
PRESS STATEMENT
Sunday, March 10, 2013

CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE, MUMBAI

The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), Mumbai condemns the attack on innocent Hindus in Bangladesh over the past week and Christians in Pakistan yesterday by a angry mob of 7,000 and more. We appeal to all Indians and the wider human rights community to join us in condemning these dastardly attacks.

While condemning the targeted and violent attacks against Bangladesh’s minority Hindu community, the CJP calls upon the Indian government and international organisations to ensure that the Bangladeshi authorities provide them with better protection. There have been disturbing reports that individuals taking part in the protests called by supremacist Islamic parties (including reportedly led by Jamaat-e-Islaami, Bangladesh) have vandalised more than 40 Hindu temples across Bangladesh, scores of Hindu homes and shops have also been burned down, leaving hundreds homeless. The attacks have come in the wake of protests to implement the findings of the country’s ongoing war crimes tribunal, the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT). The role of the Jamaat-e-Islaami-Bangladesh has been pointed to in the recent anti-minority attacks. In Pakistan, regarding the targeted attack against a group of Christians in Lahore, the CJP urges the Indian government and international organisations to lend voice to their demand that the Punjab government should have given the Christian community more protection in Lahore following the false allegations of blasphemy.

All of us undersigned condemn these dastardly attacks and call for the immediate punishment of those guilty. It is long overdue that the demands of human rights activists from all countries in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal. Afganistan, Srilanka, Burma and Bhutan are met and a South Asian Commisison/Authority for Human Rights Protection is established that looks into all instances of cross border human rights violations, atrocities against women and children and traffking, caste atroctries and attacks on identities, ethnicities and religious minorities. CJP has been part of efforts to set up this kind of mechanism for over a decade.

Teesta Setalvad
Secretary & trustee

Other trustees: IM Kadri (Vice President), Raghunandan Maluste (Vice-President), Arvind Krishnaswamy (Treasurer), Alyque Padamsee, Cyrus Guzder, Javed Akhtar, Taizoon Khorakhiwala, Anil Dharkar, Rahul Bose, Javed Anand, Ghulam Pesh-Imam, Cedric Prakash

Background articles:

Protect Bangladeshi Hindus, says Amnesty
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/protect-bangladeshi-hindus-says-amnesty/article4486622.ece

Bangladesh: Jamaat continues attacking Hindus
http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/jamaat-continues-attacking-hindus/

25 Christian houses burnt over blasphemy
Muhammad Faisal Ali

Pakistan Christians rally over Lahore attacks
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/03/2013310324150586.html


Angry protesters threw bricks at Christian houses after setting them on fire in Lahore [AP]