Two visiting female Nobel Peace laureates on Thursday urged journalists to uphold the news of plights of Rohingyas and their unheard voices for eradicating all forms of discriminations.
In an interview with journalists at the Dhaka Club, Nobel laureates Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Shirin Ebadi of Iran also blamed fellow Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for not breaking her silence over the Rohingya issue.
‘She sold her soul to the devil,’ said Shirin Ebadi, adding that in order to maintain her political power she turned a blind eye on the genocide which was taking place in her country.
Ebadi also blamed the Muslim world for not taking any steps to stop the genocide on Rohingyas.
The interview was jointly organised by The Nobel Women’s Initiative and local women organisation Naripokkho.
Shirin Ebadi said she had always referred to journalists as friends of human rights defenders because without their help the voices of the oppressed would not be heard.
She appealed to the journalists to make sure that their voices would be heard for protest against oppression and authoritarianism.
She said that Mairead and she had protested against Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest but unfortunately after release she had ‘sold her soul to the devil’.
She said she had written several open letters to Aung San Suu Kyi to break her silence but Suu Kyi did not respond.
‘I am wondering where the Islamic countries are (in this situation),’ she said, adding that when such is the plight of Rohingyas, countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates were spending money to buy weapons.
‘Shame on you,’ she said to these countries.
When asked about gender discrimination in Bangladesh by journalists, she said the patriarchal culture was the root of gender discrimination in Bangladesh alike other countries of the world.
Education could ease these discriminations and that was why fundamentalists were against women’s education, she added.
Mairead Maguire urged media to give balanced news of what is happening in the country to inform people across the globe so that the victims could get justice.
She also said they were looking for interested governments like European governments and Asian governments through the United Nations to take Myanmar to International Criminal Court.
She said a peaceful solution, dialogue, listening to each other and diplomacy were very important.
The Rohingyas were so traumatised that one of the women replied to her that if they were pushed back to Myanmar she would take poison, she said.
She said that women and men were different but working together would change the situation of inequality.
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