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UN recognized holding trial of war criminals

By Asraful Huq and Syed Shukur Ali

DHAKA, March 10, 2016 (BSS) - The United Nations (UN) had recognized holding of trial war criminals of those against whom evidences were available of committing war crimes and crime against humanity during the War of Liberation.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission in its 29th Session in Geneva in March 1973 adopted a resolution recognizing the government move to hold the trial of the war criminals soon after the War of Liberation of 1971 was completed.

"Bangladesh has a right to try those persons against whom there is evidence that they have committed grave crimes, including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, organized murder, rape and arson," said the resolution.

It also urged for the ultimate adoption by the United National General Assembly of a resolution proclaiming the following principles:

Firstly, war crimes and crimes against humanity whenever and wherever they are committed, shall be subject to investigation and the persons against whom there is evidence that they have committed such crimes shall be subject to tracing, arrest, trial and, if found guilty, punishment.

Secondly, persons against whom there are evidences that they have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity shall be subject to trial and, if found guilty, punishment, as a general rule, in the countries in which they committed those crimes.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted another resolution 3020 (XXV11) in January 1973.

In the resolution, the UN expressed, "The conviction that the effective punishment of war crimes and crimes against humanity is an important element in preventing such crimes and putting an end to them, as well as ensuring better protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and promoting cooperation between peoples and international peace and security."

The UN in the resolution also welcomed Bangladesh's decision to try 195 officers of Pakistani occupation forces for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in 1971.

"The decision by Bangladesh government to try 195 persons against whom evidence of having committed grave crimes exists is a response to the dictates of humanity and justice, and is in the discharge of its duty to posterity, as a step which will deter the recurrence of such horrors and atrocities anywhere at any time in the future," said the resolution.

Pakistan, before the repatriation of its 195 officers from prisoner-of-war camps in India after Bangladesh's Liberation War of 1971, had pledged to try them but later reneged on its promise.

The present government has initiated a committee styled as the International War Crimes Public Trial, to hold a 'symbolic trial' of the 195 Pakistani army officers at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Mar 26, this year.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said earlier a citizens' committee would conduct 'symbolic trial' of the 195 Pakistani army officers on March 26.

(Source: Rajakarer Mon (Perception of Pakistani collaborators) by Dr Muntassir Mamoon)