May 8, 2011

Bangladesh Atrocities (1971)

During the Bangladesh atrocities from 1971.

The photo above was taken by Don McCullin during Bangladesh atrocities that started with Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and continuing throughout the Bangladesh Liberation War. There were widespread violations of human rights in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) perpetrated by the West Pakistan Army with support from local political and religious militias. "Time" magazine reported a high U.S. official as saying "It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland."

Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3 million people were killed. The international media and reference books in English have also published figures which vary greatly from 200,000 to 3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole. A further eight to ten million people fled the country to seek safety in India.

There are many mass graves in Bangladesh, and more are continually being discovered. The first night of war on Bengalis, which is documented in telegrams from the American Consulate in Dhaka to the United States State Department, saw indiscriminate killings of students of Dhaka University and other civilians.

Numerous women were raped, tortured and killed during the war. The exact numbers are not known and are a subject of debate with some sources quoting figures as high as 400,000. One of the more horrible revelations concerns 563 young Bengali women, some only 18, who were held captive inside Dhaka's dingy military cantonment since the first days of the fighting. They were seized from Dhaka University and private homes and forced into military brothels, with some of the women carrying war babies being released.

Don McCullin's photo used by Crucifix for the front cover of the "Dehumanization" LP from 1983.

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