-—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—-
NEW YORK, NY (November 7, 2013) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) calls on the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh to adhere to international legal standards. A number of death penalty sentences have raised severe concerns about ICT’s violation of the law.
The tribunal was created by the Bangladeshi government to put to trial those accused of committing war crimes during the country’s war of independence in 1971.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have unequivocally stated that ensuring justice for the atrocities committed during the war requires fair trials and due process of law.
“Trying hundreds of people en masse in one giant courtroom, where the accused have little or no access to lawyers, is an affront to international legal standards,” said Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should instead immediately initiate a credible and fair trial to get justice for the mutiny victims and their families.”
“The many victims of horrific abuses during Bangladesh’s independence war and their families have long deserved justice, but the death penalty is not the answer,” said Abbas Faiz, Bangladesh Researcher at Amnesty International.
The crimes tribunal also appears to be a politically motivated action on part of the current government to curb the establishment of democracy in Bangladesh and hide its failure to address pressing issues including poverty, healthcare, and the dismal state of factory workers.
If ICT fails to adhere to international standards and conduct reliable investigations based on credible evidence, it will undermine the government’s efforts to establish an effective rule of law, will increase the likelihood of violence and deprive people the opportunity for reconciliation.
Like millions of people around the globe, ICNA’s leadership and members are processing the heartbreaking news of a 7.8 earthquake and aftershocks that wreaked havoc