Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Demanding End of Illegal Trials of Members by Gov’t
The acting Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Mr Maqbul Ahmed issued the following statement today explaining The reason why Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is demanding the scrapping of the war crimes tribunals and the release of its leaders.
"The reason why Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is demanding the scrapping of the war crimes tribunals and the release of its leaders is because the tribunals have lost all their credibility in the eyes of the international community, and to the right thinking people of Bangladesh.
In the past the international community in one voice supported the trial, now in one voice they have rejected the process because it is flawed. The Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Centre for Transitional Justice, the International Bar Association, the UK Bar Human Rights Committee, the US Ambassador at large for war crimes Stephen Rapp, Lord Eric Avebury of the British House of Lords in their public statements and representations have made it absolutely and abundantly clear that the trials fall far below the international standard. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in their Opinions given in November 2011 and December 2012 have found the detention of BNP and Jamaat leaders as being arbitrary and in violation of international law. In fact the trials fall below the national standard as well because neither the Constitution nor the ordinary laws of Bangladesh apply.
The judges are handpicked. They are constantly receiving instructions from the executives. The uncontroverted reports published in The Economist and the Amar Desh have destroyed whatever little credibility the tribunals have enjoyed. The tribunals’ existence will only perpetuate injustice. Therefore the earlier they are scrapped the better for justice.
If the Government of Bangladesh had the intention to do justice and not carry out a political agenda they could have established tribunals similar to those of former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Lebanon or Cambodia under international supervision.
Moreover, the UN Working Group having found the detention of the Opposition leaders by the Tribunal to be arbitrary and in violation of international law, they are required be immediately released. Jamaat demands the release of its leaders in accordance with the settled principles of international law.
We are a lawful political party but throughout the country our party offices including our central office are totally under police control. Our party offices are ‘no-go areas’ for our party leaders and activists. No one can enter party offices without police consent Last year the Ambassador of an important western country was dissuaded by the police and the Foreign Ministry from visiting our central office.
The Constitution is not suspended, but the constitutional rights are denied to us. The fundamental rights are not suspended, but they are denied to us. Our backs are against the wall. Hundreds and thousands of our young activists are angry and frustrated. They cannot and will not be silent spectators to the judicial killings of our beloved leaders. The government will be responsible for all the consequences.