Genocide Day observed in Lisbon

Press Release

Lisbon, 25 March 2024

Bangladesh Embassy in Lisbon observed the genocide Day with due honour and solemnity on 25 March 2024 reminiscing the brutal and cowardly attacks by the Pakistani occupation forces on the unarmed Bangalees. In profound remembrance of the victims of Bangladesh genocide, a seminar, a photo exhibition and a candlelight vigil were organised at the Embassy premises.  

The seminar titled "Bangladesh at 53: Looking back on the Freedom Struggle and Genocide “was held at the Embassy in the evening. University teachers, students from different Portuguese University, scholars, academics, members of expatiate Bangladeshi community and officials of Embassy attended the seminar. The seminar began with observance of one-minute silence in honour of martyrs of Bangladesh Liberation War.

In her opening remarks, the Ambassador of Bangladesh Rezina Ahmed paid rich tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and all the martyrs and Biranganas of the liberation war. She narrated the massacre that took place on the 25th night which continued throughout 9 months of War of Liberation. She urged the members of civil society of Portugal and members of international community to support the campaign for the recognition of the Genocide Day 1971. The audience was emotionally attached by her remarks.

In the panel discussion, Dr. Manas Sutradhar, Professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Universidade Lusόfona presented the keynote speech. Mr. Manas elaborated the aspects of dehumanization, extermination and denial of Bangladesh genocide and remarked that Pakistan should formally apologize to Bangladesh for what they did in 1971. He urged the international community, particularly United Nation to recognize Bangladesh genocide immediately. Pedro Anastácio, former Member of the Parliament and City Councilor in his speech paid tribute and respect to all the victims and survivors who suffered on this day. He quoted a Spanish saying that “those who are remembered live forever.” He also expressed solidarity with Bangladesh and other countries that had to face the international crime of genocide. A young Bangladeshi expatriate Sajin Ahmed Koushik also spoke on this occasion. In his remarks, Mr. Koushik paid homage to the victims of the black night and martyrs of the liberation war. He remarked that recognizing the Bangladeshi genocide is not solely about historical precision, it is a moral obligation, urging us to unite in support of the victims and survivors, advocating for justice, and striving to prevent such atrocities from occurring again.

A video documentary containing genocidal incidents of 25th March of 1971, war-time footage of genocide captured by international media and case for recognition of Bangladesh genocide were screened during the seminar.

After the discussion session, the attractive part of the programme “question and answer session” took place where the participant students asked the panellists different question on the genocide of Bangladesh and regarding recognition of the genocide by the international community.

After the discussion session, all guests walked in a procession of a candlelight vigil in the premises of the Chancery and placed candles before the portraits of victims of Bangladesh genocide that were displayed as part of the photographic exhibition titled “1971 Genocide”. The visitors were appalled to witness the horrors of the atrocities perpetrated by Pakistani military and local collaborators.