The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Front Page

Int'l Crimes Tribunal fair

NHRC boss warns against questioning

Anyone who is questioning the International Crimes Tribunal is questioning the national judicial system and therefore, the very sovereignty of the country, said Prof Mizanur Rahman, chairman of National Human Rights Commission.

“The government answered these questions many a time and gave assurances that the war crimes trial will be of international standard,” he said.

“If it were me, I wouldn't even bother answering such questions”, the NHRC Chairman said while addressing a roundtable discussion at CIRDAP Auditorium in the city yesterday.

The Liberation War Museum in association with International Human Rights Clinic at the University of California and Allard K Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School organised the discussion on 'Non-Retroactivity of International Crimes Tribunal and Defining the Crimes against Humanity'.

Mizanur Rahman said that the tribunal is a domestic tribunal under the national legal system and it meets international standards, as the “national standards are in compliance with international standards".

Laurel E Fletcher, clinical professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, said such trials run the risk of turning into political show trials, where laws are bent to produce predetermined results.

She highlighted the need for a transparent mechanism through which the civil society can share its views with the tribunal.

"Several international cases show that new pieces of evidence brought in by civil society members actually helped the trial," said Fletcher.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said nobody would be prosecuted only for political revenge.

“I request the international community not to be misled by such false allegations by lobbyists engaged by those accused in the war crimes trial”, he said.

Barrister Sara Hossain, honorary director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (Blast), urged all not to put any form of pressure on the tribunal and allow the trial to move at its own pace.

Briana Abrams, Sophie Kaiser and Maya Karwande from the University of California, Berkeley and Tessa Bialek and Freya Pitts from Yale Law School, gave presentations on the topic of the roundtable discussion.

State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam, Liberation War Museum trustee Mofidul Haque and barrister M Amir-Ul Islam, among others, spoke at the programme.

Share on


Perhaps Mizanur Rahman has forgotten that we live in a global village now and everyone has a say about universal issues like basic human rights, rule of law, democracy, transparency etc. That is the precise reason we criticise Guantanmao Bay's detention centre, Saudi beheadings etc. A good number of people are arguing for raising its standard. They are not calling for abandoning the trial process.

: Ahmed

The very first statement from Mizanur Rahman is unacceptable. If we criticise our judicial system for making it more transparent, unbiased and holding it as per international standard, what's wrong?

: Jumana Sarwar


  • drkarim
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 06:33 AM GMT+06:00 (212 weeks ago)

    For last 40 yrs international legal bodies were very silent about genocide in Bangladesh and its need for justice. Now, suddenly they became very 'Humanitarians'.

    Is that because victims were not Jews or westerners? The ICT of Bangladesh is superior to any others like Cambodian or Nuremberg one. Can you cough up a bit more about your real intention? Can you deny support of USA indirectly by supporting pakistanee Junta?

    We need justice. Millions of Antigone and Rabeya are hungry for justice. Please don't try to delay these in the name of 'American justice standard'.

  • 218712 faqrul
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 05:53 AM GMT+06:00 (212 weeks ago)

    I feel totally devastated because these two distinguished guests are well groomed to listen to criticise and admiration at personal level and also on the agenda they are talking about. My comments were well articulated keeping in mind that they come from two distinguished universities of the United States of America- Yale and Barkeley. California is one of the most liberal states in the US. The civil liberty watchdogs are strong and vocal for all of us.





The Daily Star

©, 1991-2016. All Rights Reserved