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Friday, February 15, 2013

[] Post-Trial Amendments Taint War Crimes Process:HRW

Post-Trial Amendments Taint War Crimes Process:HRW

Justice for victims of war crimes and other serious abuses during the
1971 war of liberation is essential. But a government supposedly
guided by the rule of law cannot simply pass retroactive laws to
overrule court decisions when it doesn't like them. The Bangladesh
government should pause, take a deep breath, and repeal the proposed
amendments, which make a mockery of the trial process.

The amendments violate the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bangladesh is a state party.
Article 14 of the ICCPR states that "no one shall be liable to be
tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been
finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal
procedure of each country."

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was reported by media as saying she would
talk to the judges to convince them to take the sentiments of the
protesters into account in formulating their decisions. Law Minister
Shafique Ahmed said that the amendment had been drafted to ensure
equal rights for both the government and the accused. When the bill
was offered in parliament, the deputy speaker welcomed it by saying,
"This is the voice of parliament."

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