Naogaon News Desk: On Friday, March 17th, 2023, the President of the Republic of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, hosted a reception at the Élysée Palace in Paris for fourteen human rights defenders from around the world. Prominent human rights lawyer and founder of JusticeMakers Bangladesh, Mr. Shahanur Islam, was one of them.
Mr. Islam was invited to speak as a laureate of the 2023 Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders, which aims to support human rights defenders globally.
The winners of the 2023 Marianne Initiative come from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Iran, Mali, Uganda, Peru, Russia, El Salvador, Syria, and Venezuela, representing all continents.
During the reception, Mr. Islam drew the French president’s attention to the widespread human rights violations against ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities in Bangladesh.
He highlighted the alarming issues of the criminalization of homosexuality and the lack of constitutional recognition for minority groups that need to be addressed.
As part of the Marianne Initiative, Mr. Islam plans to establish a non-profit organization in France to fight against discrimination and impunity towards minorities in Bangladesh.
He urged the President of France to join hands with him in the fight for justice and human rights for all, providing financial, moral, and technical support. This could include funding for projects and training for his team to help protect and prevent human rights violations in Bangladesh.
Finally, Mr. Islam emphasized that as a human rights defender, they can work together to ensure that every human being is treated with dignity and respect.
The meeting between Advocate Shahanur Islam and President Emmanuel Macron has raised hopes for the protection of minority rights in Bangladesh and for international support for the work of human rights defenders globally.