The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) recently joined a letter to US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller signed by over 35 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) calling on the US government to “forcefully advocate for the immediate protection of Rabindra Ghosh and other human rights activists and attorneys” in Bangladesh.
The letter provides a detailed account of the attack on Rabindra Ghosh, a human rights lawyer and human rights activist who has devoted his life’s work to defending the rights of and pursuing justice for persecuted religious minorities in Bangladesh. Sadly, the October 16, 2020 brutal assault of Mr. Ghosh and his colleague, also an attorney, inside a Bangladesh police station by state and non-state actors is just one incident in decades-long pattern of abuse and assault on Mr. Ghosh.
The letter goes on to state that “No government can protect all its citizens against all attacks, but they can protect them against attacks by the government or in which governments are complicit. The Bangladeshi government must provide equal protection under the law for all its citizens and punish according to law, those police and other officials who engaged in or allowed these attacks on Rabindra Ghosh and other attorneys and activists for religious freedom. Failure to do so would give the Bangladeshi government license to proceed with its attack on religious freedom and its advocates.”
Spearheaded by Illinois-based Forcefield, NFP the letter was signed by a total of 37 human rights NGOs and activists from across the globe working in tandem with members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable’s South Asia Working Group, which is responsible for monitoring, documenting, and raising awareness of religious freedom violations in the region.
“Rabindra Ghosh continues to put himself in danger to protect Bangladesh’s Hindus and other minorities; despite death threats, regular beatings, and other attacks on his person, public image, and property,” stated Forcefield President Dr. Richard Benkin. “He eschewed the comfortable life of a Supreme Court Advocate in order to secure justice for those from whom Bangladesh withholds it. We have fought injustice side by side and will not stop until Bangladesh’s Hindu citizens have the rights of all Bangladesh’s citizens,” Benkin said.
The targeting of Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh has occurred for decades, but has progressively gotten worse since the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, just weeks ago HAF sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging US condemnation of the latest mob violence in Bangladesh that destroyed 20 Hindu homes and four temples in Comilla district.
“Hindu Americans are uniquely aware of the situation facing Bangladeshi Hindus and other religious minorities who live in a constant state of fear and we will do whatever it takes to secure the human right protections of Hindus in Bangladesh,” stated HAF Managing Director Samir Kalra, Esq.