Members of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association participated in a series of events focusing on genocide and human rights in the region of South- and Southeast Asia. They presented the results of its major project ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for and from Southeast Asia’ conducted in cooperation with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
The meetings were organized around the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime (9 December) and the Human Rights Day (10 December). They took place in Brussels with the participation of numerous representatives of several Asian countries and diaspora communities as well as their friends and allies.
On 8 December, delegates of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ addressed a rally organized by the International Forum for Secular Bangladesh in front of the European Commission headquarters calling for the international recognition of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide. The rally was followed by a conference on ‘Recognizing Bangladesh Genocide of 1971 and resisting ongoing Rohingya Genocide in Myanmar, Afghanistan and other parts of the world’ hosted by the Ahmadiya mosque in Brussels and chaired by Shahriar Kabir, a renowned Bangladeshi film-maker, writer and social justice advocate. On the following day, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ members spoke at a press event held at the Brussels Press Club and chaired by executive director of the South Asia Democratic Forum Paulo Casaca.
On 12 December, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association representatives participated in meetings by the European Parliament, highlighting the human rights problems in the countries of Southeast Asia as well as Afghanistan and Iran.
The project ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for and from Southeast Asia’ has been conducted by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ since 2020. It deals with various forms of genocide distortion and denial spread in the region of Southeast Asia. The project draws on the regional experiences of the Second World War and further instances of genocide in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand to inspire critical memory discourses and develop capacities to counter Holocaust and genocide distortion in the region. The project’s participants included opinion-makers, faith leaders (such as Buddhist monks as well as Jewish and Muslim figures), academics, and the staff of museums and memorial sites, among others. The project’s activities have included research, seminars, publications, and awareness raising. The initiative has been developed in close cooperation with local supporters and partners of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in the countries of Southeast Asia.
The project’s new digital exhibition is accessible in four languages (English, Khmer, Thai, Burmese) on the website https://holocausteducation-asia.org. The multi-lingual platform is the first of its kind, prepared specially for the Southeast Asian audiences. It also features recommendations on countering genocide denial and other educational materials such as the full proceedings of the historic symposium on genocide denial held in November 2021 in cooperation with the IHRA, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Cambodia, the BALAC Program at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), and the American University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia): https://holocausteducation-asia.org/symposium-proceedings-en
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally, with a special focus on Southeast Asia. It has actively participated in international civil society networks, including the Alliance Against Genocide and the European Network for Countering Antisemitism through Education.