Published: Saturday, May 11, 2013

War Crimes

US supports punishment thru fair trial

The United States has said it supports bringing to justice those who committed atrocities through fair and transparent trials maintaining international standards.
“We believe that any such trials must be free, fair, and transparent in accordance with international standards that Bangladesh has agreed to uphold through its ratification of international agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” Patrick Ventrell, acting deputy spokesperson of the US State Department, said in its regular briefing on Thursday in Washington.
The response came following a question on the death sentence awarded to leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Kamaruzzaman for his crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.
Ventrell said the US looked to the government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all of its citizens and encourage all Bangladeshis to peacefully express their views, given some of the disturbances. “And while engaging in peaceful protest is a fundamental democratic right, we firmly believe violence is never the answer.”
Responding to a question whether the US believes that this particular trial was fair and transparent and meets US standards, he said, “Again, I do not think I am in a position to address each and every individual trial, but that is the broad frame that we are making very clear to the Bangladeshis.”
While responding to another question on the updates of Savar building collapse and recent fire incidents, Ventrell said he did not have an update on the fire overnight, although he had seen the news reports and they were very clear what a tragic situation it had been with the building and so many lost.
“So we continue to engage at the Assistant Secretary level, at the ambassadorial level, not only with American buyers in the country, but directly with the Government of Bangladesh. So this is something we have placed a priority on and will continue to do.”