UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


The 1971 Bangladesh Genocide and a Call for International Recognition

25 October 2022, 2:30 pm–5:00 pm

frieze showing blindfolded figures

This international symposium will highlight the atrocities committed by the Pakistan military against the Bengalis in 1971 and its importance in recognising the killings of an estimated three million Bengalis as “Genocide” by the international community, particularly the United Nations.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Bayes Ahmed – Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Royal Free Hospital Lecture Theatre 1
Royal Free Hospital
Rowland Hill Street
United Kingdom

This international symposium will bring together diplomats, academics, activists, victims, humanitarian actors, lawyers, and journalists to discuss the impact of the killings of Bengali university teachers, staff and students by the Pakistani military and collaborators during the Liberation War in 1971 to create an intellectual vacuum for the future of Bangladesh. The UCL Humanitarian Institute will organise the event in collaboration with the Bangladesh High Commission in London and the Centre for Genocide Studies at the University of Dhaka.

On the night of the 25th of March 1971, the Pakistan occupation forces unleashed a sudden attack and started killing in a targeted manner, thousands of unarmed innocent Bengali civilians, including University teachers, students, staff members, intellectuals, scholars and many more. The undisputed Leader of the Bengali Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was arrested at midnight to be imprisoned in Pakistan. Still, in the early hours of 26 March, he proclaimed Bangladesh’s independence before his departure. At the clarion call of Bangabandhu, civilian people from all walks of life, including students, farmers, political activists, police, BDR and the East Bengal Regiment of Army, all responded spontaneously and immediately to fight back against foreign occupation, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the Bengali people during the 1971 War of Liberation of Bangladesh. After nine months of the war, the Bengali nation earned independence but with the heavy price of sacrificing three million lives through the heinous atrocities and genocide in the history of the world. To honour that sacrifice of the martyrs, the present Parliament of Bangladesh on 11 March 2017 unanimously adopted a resolution to observe 25 March as the “Day of Genocide”, marking the brutality carried out that night.

This symposium will help create awareness globally on how academics, students and researchers can be the targets of war and reinforce the ongoing movement in bringing justice to the victims and martyrs by recognising the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide by the United Nations. We look forward to welcoming you to the symposium at UCL.

No need to book your place.

Please note, this event will be recorded.