Dhaka irked by Unhhcr stance about International Crimes Trials

Dhaka irked by Unhhcr stance about International Crimes Trials

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Dhaka – Refuting the claims of UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that there are doubts about Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal’s trials, Dhaka on Thursday said it is ‘highly disturbed’ over the UN rights body’s claims.
“Bangladesh expressed that it’s highly disturbed by the conclusion made in the press briefing note with regard to the misperception/misconception of OHCHR about the verdicts of two cases of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed,” the Foreign Ministry said in a reply sent to the UN rights body.
It said the position taken by the OHCHR in the said press briefing note raises a question – whether the OHCHR is siding with the perpetrators of war crime, genocide and crimes against humanity.
It is also a question if the OHCHR is choosing to undermine the cry for justice of the families of innumerable victims; whether the impunity that the majority of the people of Bangladesh want to see gone is being upheld by the OHCHR.
The protest note mentioned that it is unfortunate that while the international community across the board has embraced the trials as an effort to end the culture of impunity for mass atrocity crimes committed over four decades ago, some selected quarters are still resorting to sweeping, biased and unfounded comments about the trials as fed to them by the agents and sympathisers of those accused and convicted.
The government and the people of Bangladesh are confident that plausible legal arguments can be provided for all the fabricated charges being leveled against the trials, and that the fact that fair trial and due process standards had been upheld throughout the trial process, would ultimately prevail, it reads.
Bangladesh also mentioned that the ICT-BD trials have created an opportunity for ending the culture of impunity, ensuring justice to the victims, and paving the way for truth and reconciliation.
This was duly recognised by the European Parliament in its Resolution of 16 January 2014 where it posited, “… the International Crimes Tribunal has played an important role in providing redress and closure for victims of and those affected by the Bangladeshi war of independence.”
Similarly, the European Parliament earlier also acknowledged the need for reconciliation, justice and accountability for the crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence while stressing the important role of ICT in this matter.
The present government of Bangladesh came to power with an overwhelming majority who supported their declared manifesto of bringing an end to the impunity so long enjoyed by the perpetrators of war crime, genocide and crimes against humanity and no democratic government could ignore such a demand in Bangladesh, it said.
Bangladesh mentioned that Salahuddin Quader and Mojaheed have been convicted of committing crimes against humanity and genocide during Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971.
Both the convicts have been handed down the death sentence by the ICT-BD for charges proven against them beyond reasonable doubts.
Bangladesh also reiterated that as a state party to the ICCPR, along with its Optional Protocol, Bangladesh is obliged to maintain international standards in its judicial process.
The government recognises its responsibility towards its citizens and is committed to fulfilling its obligations to the citizens of Bangladesh. – UNB

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