On 17th November 2014, Human Rights Alliance Bangladesh (HRAB) organised a "National Meeting on Human Rights Situation of Minority Population" at the Daily Star Centre in Dhaka. The event brought together human rights defenders working for the rights of various minority communities including LGBT people, religious minorities and indigenous people. The objective of the national meeting was to highlight human rights violations faced by each community and explore ways to support efforts of the civil society in upholding their rights.
Mavi Kohli, a 12-year old victim of an abduction, forced conversion and marriage to a 62-year old man from Sindh, was just released from a shelter home and allowed to go home with her family. After 3 weeks of investigations, court hearings and a medical exam, the girl is now free and the perpetrator is facing prosecution. We commend Mavi on her courage to stand up in court despite the threats to her life and the lives of her family to tell the truth about the circumstances of her case. Let this be an inspiration for all the other girls suffering from the same horrendous fate! Congratulations, Mavi and all the people who came to support her in the court!
Amongst the numerous religious minorities in Pakistan, the Ahmadiyya community is one of the most persecuted. Their claim of belonging to the larger Muslim community is offensive the Muslim majority (both Shia and Sunni) in Pakistan, thus causing severe discrimination on religious grounds. and aggression against them is currently at its peak. Consequently, Global Human Rights Defence has been paying particular attention to human right violations towards the community.
In recent years, the rate of abductions and forced conversions of girls in Pakistan has seen an alarming increase. In the last 4 months over 15 cases have been registered by our local partners. Girls across the country are being kidnapped, subjected to forced marriages and converted to Islam. All the girls are underage. Kajal Bheel is one of such cases: abducted from her home, married and converted in the space of a single day. Kajal Bheel is a prisoner of the system, which is supposed to protect little girls like her, but is instead robbing her of her childhood. In order to bring Kajal justice, GHRD started the “#SaveKajal” campaign: we directed the case file to various international bodies and started an online petition. We welcome you to join us in this call for justice by signing the petition.
According to the United Nations, anyone who is peacefully engaged as an individual or together with others in promotion, protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is a Human Rights Defender (HRD). GHRD strongly believes that HRDs are the catalyst for progress towards human dignity. They have committed their lives to the struggle for the promotion and protection of human rights. Due to the their importance, GHRD’s 4-year human rights programme focuses on empowering HRDs in Bangladesh through various capacity building activities