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Back Activities Press Releases Press release - Worldwide: Genocide Memorial Day 2016 to home in on weapons of mass destruction

Press release - Worldwide: Genocide Memorial Day 2016 to home in on weapons of mass destruction

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The continuing debate about weapons of mass destruction is set to dominate next year's Genocide Memorial Day.


Simultaneous events are to be held on the third weekend in January in London, Birmingham, Lisbon, Madrid, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Jerusalem to highlight the threat that WMDs, particularly nuclear weapons, pose to mankind.

Special attention will be given to exploding the myth that WMDs are essential to national security as a deterrent.

Once again this year GMD will expand to more cities around the world. This is evidence that global awareness of genocide as a phenomenon that concerns humanity as a whole is increasing. Established in 2010, Genocide Memorial Day is intended to give people an opportunity to recall man's inhumanity to man. It is unique in that remembrance is not limited by the background of either the victims of the genocides or the perpetrators of any of the genocides. GMD rejects the notion that there is a hierarchy of victim depending on their background.

This year IHRC is privileged to be hosting the former mayor of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Dr Tadatoshi Akiba who will be a keynote speaker in London. Along with Nagasaki, Hiroshima carries the unwanted distinction of being the only city to have ever been attacked with a nuclear weapon.

Also featuring will be Professor Ramon Grosfoguel, a leading light in the field of decolonial studies.

To coincide with this year's GMD IHRC has organised a poetry competition for young people. Poems must be related to the theme of genocidal weapons of mass destruction. Entrants must be aged 11-18 and all entries must be sent to gmd@ihrc.org by 6 Januray 2016.

First prize is an all-expenses paid trip to Bosnia with an opportunity to visit sites connected with the Srebrenica massacre of 1995, for the winner and an accompanying adult. Second and third prizes are £50 and £25 IHRC bookshop vouchers respectively. Winners will be announced at the GMD event in London.

Raza Kazim of IHRC said: "This year we continue to further our aim of ensuring that GMD is not merely a commemorative space but provides a platform to raise awareness of genocidal policies, so that we can truly embody the 'Never Again' ethos. The existence of nuclear weapons and over-emphasis on militarisation is a threat to the security of every human being, and thus in violation of basic principles of human rights. We therefore hope that community members and leaders from all backgrounds will join us in providing a unified response against the possession and use of genocidal weapons of mass destruction by all nations."

Notes to editors:

London event: 12-4pm on Sunday 17th Jan 2016 at P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street London NW1 1JD GB. Tickets can be reserved here: http://tinyurl.com/GMD2016

Birmingham event: 3:30-7:30pm on Saturday 16th January 2016, venue to be confirmed

For media enquiries please email media@ihrc.org or call 020 8904 4222 or 07903 053362[Ends]

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Islamic Human Rights Commission

PO Box 598

Wembley

HA9 7XH

United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222

Email: info@ihrc.org

Web: www.ihrc.org

Twitter @ihrc.

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