Bangladesh wants to try Pakistani soldiers for 1971 war crimes

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by Flint, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    UN to help Bangladesh war crimes trial planning

    14 hours ago

    DHAKA (AFP) — The United Nations said Wednesday that some of its top war crimes experts would advise Bangladesh on how to try those accused of murder and rape during its bloody 1971 liberation struggle.

    The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in power since the beginning of the year, has promised to hold the trials as soon as possible.

    "We have suggested the names of some top international experts who have experience in how war crimes tribunals operate across the globe," head of the United Nations in Bangladesh, Renata Lok Dessallien, told AFP.


    "This is the first time Bangladesh is conducting war crimes tribunals and it is important it understands how other countries have held them. There are some countries where mistakes were made and we don't want Bangladesh to repeat those mistakes."

    She said the UN would also look into Bangladeshi law to see whether it complied with international war crimes legislation.

    Law Minister Shafiq Ahmed welcomed the move, and said the government was expected to announce on Thursday that it would begin the investigation into the alleged crimes.

    "The UN will advise us so that we don't make any mistakes and so that the process is transparent and does not create any questions," Ahmed said.

    The UN's move was also welcomed by Amnesty International.

    "I hope that the initiative to seek UN assistance to address the 1971 war crimes marks the beginning of a process to heal the wounds of this war in the national psyche," said Irene Khan, the group's secretary-general who is of Bangladeshi origin.

    The alleged war criminals -- who sided with what was then West Pakistan -- committed murder, rape and arson as they fought against East Pakistan's struggle to become the independent country of Bangladesh.

    The government said three million people were killed during the war.

    A private group which has investigated the conflict has blamed 1,775 people, including top Pakistani generals and local Islamists allied with Pakistan, for the atrocities.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7989052.stm
     
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  3. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Bangladesh wants to try Pakistani soldiers for 1971 war crimes
    Apr 8th, 2009 | By Sindh Today | Category: India, UnCat
    http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/84526.htm

    Dhaka, April 8 (IANS) Bangladesh wants to try Pakistani military personnel for war crimes during the 1971 freedom movement.

    The process for holding the war crime trials formally began Wednesday.

    Dhaka has got the assistance of four UN experts and is moving as per a resolution passed by parliament in February. A high level probe body is expected to be named
    .

    “We will take the matter to the International Criminal Court and seek the trial of the members of the Pakistani occupation forces who committed crimes against humanity,” State Minister for Liberation War Affairs A.B. Tajul Islam told New Age newspaper Tuesday.

    The perpetrators of the atrocities belonging to the Pakistani forces are not in Bangladesh now so the country needs to seek international assistance to bring them to justice, the minister said.


    “We will request the world body now to bring them to justice as many of them are beyond any doubt guilty of crimes against humanity,” said the minister who is himself a war veteran.

    Those who collaborated with the Pakistan government during the freedom struggle are also referred to as “war criminals” in Bangladesh.

    Bangladesh’s liberation was facilitated by neighbouring India and the forces fought under the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Command.

    More than 80,000 officers and soldiers of the Pakistani army, the paramilitary and police forces and 13,000 civilians were repatriated from Bangladesh after their surrender to the joint command led by the Indian Army.

    The process for their prosecution was never initiated. As a gesture of goodwill, India unilaterally decided not to try the prisoners of war for war crimes and released them in accordance with the July 3, 1972 Simla agreement between Pakistan and India.

    Bangladesh, however, was not a party to the agreement, the newspaper noted.


    The process of holding the trial has gained momentum after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her allies swept the polls held last December. The premier father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led the freedom struggle.

    Dhaka is approaching Pakistan which has conveyed through a special envoy of President Asif Ali Zardari that “time is not ripe” for holding such a trial and that bilateral relations could be damaged.


    Dhaka has also decided to approach the US, whose Richard Nixon administration sided with Islamabad and opposed what it considered Pakistan’s ‘dismemberment’.

    According to historians, some three million people were killed during Bangladesh’s freedom struggle against Pakistani forces in 1971.

    Around 200,000 women were raped and tens of thousands of homes were torched by the Pakistani army and its local collaborators.

    Some of the alleged local collaborators now head the Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party. They have been stopped from leaving the country pending the completion of the trial.


    http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/84526.htm
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Not going to happen. Some Indian experts have pointed out that the pilkhana BDR massacre was a consequence of such a policy by Haseena's govt.
     
  5. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very much possible. It could have been a desperate attempt to stop the trials. But it didn't work - the trials are going ahead - and once the UN is involved and the wheels are set in motion, who knows?
    The Khmer Rouge trials are going one after all.
     

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