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1971 Bangladesh Genocide – Congressional Statement of Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee

Source: US Congressional Record

[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E290]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BENGALI HINDU GENOCIDE

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, March 23, 2021

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I rise in sad remembrance of the 50th 
anniversary of the Bengali Hindu Genocide, and celebrate and honor the 
lives of the more than two million Bengali Hindu persons who were 
systematically killed by the Pakistani Army when it launched an 
offensive into East Pakistan, present-day Bangladesh, thus beginning 
the 10-month reign of terror known as ``Operation Searchlight.''
  Over that time, approximately 2 to 3 million people were killed, over 
200,000 women were raped in organized rape camps, and over 10 million 
people were displaced, most finding refuge in India.
  I offer my prayers and condolences to the victims and their families 
who still feel the very real effects of this heinous crime against 
humanity.
  March 25th officially marks the beginning of the genocide in 
Bangladesh.
  The brutality unleashed by the Pakistani army and the targeting of 
Bengali Hindus simply because of their religion must be strongly 
condemned as religious freedom is one of the most sacred of human 
rights.
  It has been 50 years since the genocide in Bangladesh, and the 
survivors and their descendants are still fighting for recognition; 
they are still fighting for an apology from Pakistan, as the Prime 
Minister of Bangladesh formerly asked her Pakistani counterpart as 
recently as January of 2021; and they are still fighting for justice 
and for closure.
  On March 28, 1971, Archer K. Blood, U.S. Consul General stationed in 
Dhaka, East Pakistan, present-day Bangladesh, during the genocide, sent 
a cable back to Foggy Bottom with the subject reading ``Selective 
Genocide.''
  In his cable, the Consul General informs his superiors at the State 
Department that ``Here in Dacca we are mute and horrified witnesses to 
a reign of terror by the Pak military,'' and that the full horror of 
its atrocities ``will come to light sooner or later.''
  That is why I rise; to remember and acknowledge that history so that 
victims and survivors of the Bengali Hindu Genocide know that the 
people of the United States stand in solidarity with them.

                          ____________________
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