Hindu Human Rights Released by HAF

via www.hinduamericanfoundation.org. published on June 30, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2006) – The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) held a press conference today on Capitol Hill to release its much anticipated second annual report on the status of human rights of Hindus in South Asia, Afghanistan and Fiji.

“The second annual report on Hindu human rights is an objective compilation from reports by credible human rights groups of the genocide, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, and discriminatory laws that Hindus face everyday in parts of South Asia and beyond,” said Ishani Chowdhury, Executive Director of HAF. “This report documents a humanitarian tragedy that fills an important void existing in reports by both governments and other human rights organizations.”

The 105-page document is entitled “Hindus in South Asia & the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights (2005)”. The report has garnered a broad array of endorsements from several members of Congress, various academics and human rights and religious leaders of diverse faiths.

The 2005 report individually documents over 500 incidents of murder, arson, rape, desecration of temples, usurpation of property and other forms of violence against Hindus over a single year in Bangladesh. The report confirms a continuous rise in such attacks since the 2001 general election brought the Bangladesh National Party to power in coalition with Islamist political organizations.

In 2005, according to the HAF report, Pakistan witnessed a spate of Hindu temple destructions, kidnappings and forced conversions of Hindu girls. Furthermore, the government of Pakistan continues a grim policy of aiding and abetting Islamist organizations recognized as terrorist groups by the U.S. State Department such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

HAF included Fiji in the 2005 report as part of its long-term goal of highlighting human rights abuses against Hindus in the diaspora beyond South Asia. Despite comprising 38% of the island nation’s population,Hindus and their religious institutions are routinely attacked in Fiji. The heavily influential Methodist Church there has called for conversions of Hndus and establishment of a Christian state. 

The HAF report was simultaneously released by Global Human Rights Defence in the Hague, Netherlands, where that organization is committed to spreading awareness about the contents of the report in the European Union.

The HAF report calls for concrete action by responsible governments to end religious persecution. The foundation plans to follow the report with coordinated activities to raise awareness of Hindu human rights in Washington, D.C. and at international venues throughout the year.

The report can be downloaded, viewed or purchased online at http://www.hinduamericanfoundation.org/reports.htm#hhr2005


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