Perpetrators of war crimes should not go unpunished, says Bangladesh rights' activist
Dhaka, Aug 7 (ANI): Raising the pitch for speedy justice of the victims of war crimes in Bangladesh, eminent Bangladeshi human rights activist Rasheda K. Choudhury said here that the offenders of war crimes should not go unpunished, adding that it is necessary to dispense justice in the cases of war crimes.
Interacting with mediapersons here, Choudhury, a former advisor of the caretaker government and an executive director of a government campaign for popular education, said, "We belong to a generation who witnessed this crime, who witnessed our liberation struggle, who witnessed hundreds and thousands of women being violated. We witnessed the amount with regards to atrocity in human rights abuse. And how could we forget that these are some people who committed this crime against humanity. But we allowed them to function, we allowed them to continue to be citizens of this country, and we allowed them to go unpunished. This should not have happened in a democratic country."
A war crimes tribunal, which was set last year, requires wrapping up investigations of all those who were accused, as the government aims to finish their trials before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's five-year term ends.
A former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamic political party and the country's top Islamist leader, Golan Azam, is on trial for helping the Pakistani army during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence.
Jamaat -e-Islami and its close ally, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, allege that the tribunal hearing the case takes orders from the government.
Choudhury also added here that she is not happy with the pace of the trial and it is essential to book the perpetrators.
" Forty years have passed, and now that we have started this process, it is getting a little bit lengthy. I am not that happy with the pace of that trial process," she said.
The Islamist groups in Bangladesh want to scrap "secularism" as a state principle in the Muslim-majority country.
Jamaat-e-Islami opposed Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan and fought with the Pakistan army.
They were allegedly involved in war crimes and have thousands of militant followers, including in the defence forces, analysts say.
Dozens of other Jamaat leaders including its chief Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary-general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid are already in prison accused of war crimes. (ANI)
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