The atrocities perpetrated by way of all the aspects in East Pakistan in 1971 have been reprehensible. For its excesses, Pakistan expressed regret to the human beings of Bangladesh in 2002, with a preference to bury the ghosts of the beyond and forge strong ties for the future.
but, given that assuming strength in Bangladesh in 2008, the Awami League government of high Minister Hasina Wajed has followed a regressive pathway that could disrupt relations among the two international locations, even dissatisfied the local balance of power in South Asia. Dhaka has been selectively mining the tragic occasions of 1971 for political profits by keeping shambolic conflict crimes trials of its political opponents belonging to the Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami and Bangladesh countrywide birthday celebration.
Initiated in 2010 , these trials are being held 4 many years after the activities of 1971 and are a contravention of the 1974 Tripartite agreement concluded in “the bigger hobby of reconciliation, peace andstability within the subcontinent” among Pakistan, India and Bangl. a.desh. under this, the latter agreed no longer to proceed against those it accused of committing battle crimes in 1971. It turned into, in reality, in reciprotown of this guarantee that Pakistan officially recognised Bangladesh as a sovereign kingdom.
these trials, that have to date led to over dozen capital and lifestyles sentences and four executions, had been marred by way of regular miscarriages of justice in breach of worldwide regulation norms andstandards.
From a legal viewpoint, the rigors have been blighted with the aid of, inter alia, denial of the accused man or woman’s proper to bail; confined rights to enchantment capital and life convictions; pro-prosecution bias; admission of rumour evidence and evidence from intercepted communications among the prosecution and judges amounting to prohibited and biased communications; capital convictions based totally on hurriedly enacted retrospective legislation; and arbitrary dilemma on manufacturing of defence witnesses and files. these are critical violations of fair trial and due procedure ensures enshrined inside the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Bangladesh is a party. by engaging in these trials, Bangladesh is accountable underneath global regulation for directly breaching at least 11 Articles of the ICCPR (Articles 2, three, 6, 7, nine, 10, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 26).
the trials make a mockery of justice.
The global crook Tribunal established to hold these trials is fundamentally improper – Article forty seven(A) of the Bangladeshi constitution states: “this article similarly denies any accused under the ICT Act from moving the ideal courtroom for any remedies underneath the constitution, inclusive of anychallenges as to the unconstitutionality of Article 47(A).”
The latter essentially strips the accused earlier than the ICT of sure fundamental rights, which includesthe proper to an expeditious trial by way of an impartial, impartial tribunal, and the proper to move the courts to implement essential rights.
moreover, the ICT Act 2009 excludes the software of ordinary policies of manner and evidence inproceedings before the ICT. segment 23 states: “The provisions of the crook procedure Code, 1898 (V of 1898), and the evidence Act, 1872 (I of 1872), shall now not apply in any court cases below this Act.”
Disturbingly, one accused, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, turned into exceeded down the capital sentencenotwithstanding allegations that government forces abducted a key defence witness. Mohammed Kamaruzzaman changed into hanged in April 2015 even though witnesses and documents had beenarbitrarily constrained via the courts and the inconsistency of statements by using prosecution witnesseswere no longer factored into the evidence. within the case of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, hanged in November 2015, the ICT refused to simply accept any testimony from his alibi witnesses.
in spite of permitting the prosecution to name 41 witnesses, the ICT confined Chowdhury’s defence to 4witnesses. The authorities ordered airways flying into Dhaka to claim if any of Chowdhury’s defence witnesses, which include a few outstanding Pakistani residents, were booked on their flights ahead of hisoverview hearing, so that you can deny them entry.
The numerous procedural and significant flaws which have grew to become those trials right into a farcehave been highlighted with the aid of eminent attorneys and human rights organizations across the globe. The current Bangladesh very best court leader Justice himself remarked at some point of the appellate complaints in Mir Qasim Ali’s case that he was “very disappointed to look which you [the prosecution] are the usage of these trials [for] your political advantage.…” He changed into “taken abackthat the prosecution’s case is complete of contradictions”. regardless of these feedback, Ali’s capital sentence was upheld by the preferrred courtroom, probably because of political pressure.
final Wednesday, Jamaat-i-Islami leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami become hanged on trumped-up strugglecrime charges. Pakistan must enhance this problem at bilateral, local and worldwide stages to make certain that Bangladesh honours its global legal obligations by straight away halting these flawed trialsas well as quashing all extraordinary sentences mentioned via the conflict crimes tribunal. aside frommaintaining the global rule of regulation, this will decorate peace and balance in South Asia.