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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trial of war crimes our obligation

Trial of war crimes is our legal obligation, said Bangladesh Ambassador to USA Akramul Qader at a programme on October 18.

He said war criminals should be brought to book to serve justice to the war victims and to ensure a fair trial of the accused.

He was speaking as a keynote speaker at a seminar on 'Bangladesh 1971: Addressing claims of war crimes, genocide and human rights violation' at Kean University in New Jersey, USA.

Human Rights Institute and Bangladesh Study Group at Kean hosted the seminar, says a press release.

Saying that the trial will be fair and would meet international standard, Ambassador Qader informed the audience of the unanimous passage of a resolution on January 29 by the Bangladesh Parliament to try war criminals under the 1973 International Crimes (Tribunals) Act.

Referring to similar tribunals in countries like Cambodia, Ambassador Qader said Bangladesh had already sought assistance of UN experts on this issue in order to make the trial fair and transparent and to meet national and international legal and human rights standard.

Kean University President Dr Dawood Farahi, Dr Kristie Reilly, vice president and dean of Graduate Studies, and Dr Henry Kaplowitz, director, Human Rights Institute of Kean University, also spoke.

During the seminar, a number of survivors recalled stories of their suffering during the war.

Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Dr Abdul Momen, journalist and writer Shahriar Kabir, Mofidul Hoque, trustee of Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh, Dr Zia Uddin Ahmed of Pennsylvania, Anis Ahmed of Washington DC, Faruque Chowdhury and Roger Clark of New Jersey, Prof Shelly Feldman of Cornell University, Suhail Islam of New York, David Matas of Canada, Winston Nagan of Florida and Dr ABM Nasir of North Carolina were also present.

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