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SCF urges CG to set up tribunal to try war criminals PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 March 2008

Sector Commanders'' Forum at its national convention in the city Friday demanded formation of an international war crime tribunal with national and international experts to try the war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War, reports UNB.

The convention, held at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Hall, also demanded that the present caretaker government start the process to set up the tribunal if it does not have any sympathy for the war criminals.

It said it is the state that should take initiatives to start the trial of the war criminals, as they do not have any respect for the country''s sovereignty and the spirit of its independence. Several thousands freedom fighters from across the country gathered at the convention and observed silence for one minute in honour of the martyrs of the liberation war.

Convenor of the Forum Air Vice-Marshal (retd) AK Khandaker delivered the inaugural speech demanding formation of the international war crime tribunal with national and international experts to try the war criminals.

The convention was addressed by former Chief Adviser Justice Habibur Rahman, Prof Dr Anisuzzaman, Prof Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, former Army Chief and Forum''s chief coordinator Lt Gen. (retd) M Harun-or-Rashid (Beer Pratik), member secretary Dr M A Hasan and Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman of Dhaka University''s Law department.

The other sectors commanders -- Maj Gen (retd) AKM Shafiullah, Lt Gen (retd) Meer Shawakat Ali, Maj Gen (retd) CR Datta, Lt Conl, Quazi Nuruzzaman, Abu Osman Chowdhury, also addressed the convention.

In a 16-point declaration, the Forum demanded formation of an inquiry commission to ensure the trial of war criminals, offences against humanity and genocide in 1971 in accordance with the essence of Article 47 (3) of the Bangladesh Constitution.

It demanded announcement of terms of reference in accordance with International Criminal Act to keep the inquiry commission above controversy. The declaration demanded that the government raise the matter to the UN General Assembly and engage some international jurists to the inquiry commission to expedite the task and make it easier.

It demanded formation of the tribunal as per the International Crime Tribunal Act (X1X0/ 73, initiation of the trial process and engaging the Inquiry Commission''s task with the tribunal for holding trial of the offences relating to the liberation war (killing, rape, repression, loot, arson and planned genocide).

The declaration said the Chief Adviser, the Army Chief and the Chief Election Commissioner have already said the war criminals should be put on trial. "So, the convention hopes that the caretaker government won''t make any delay in implementing their commitment to establish social justice."

"The convention urges the countrymen to boycott the war criminals and their cohorts socially and politically. Steps will have to be taken so that the war criminals cannot take part in the national election. We also call the political parties to oust all the war criminals from their organisations." It warned if any political party tries to forge alliance with any party backed by the war criminals, then the freedom fighters and their families would boycott it.

"If any identified war criminal takes part in elections, the Sectors'' Commanders Forum will resist the evil," it said. The convention also urged the international community not to issue visas or provide any type of shelter to those accused of war crimes. It called for forming ''Victims Forum'' comprising the families who suffered huge losses during the liberation war.

It also called for setting up "Hatred Pillar" at every region of the country to express people''s hatred towards razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams. To expedite the implementation of all their calls, the convention urged the countrymen to observe a one-minute blackout from 12.00-12.1 am and lightening candles at 12:1 am on March 25.

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