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War crime victims' kin in Bangladesh hope for a fair trial against accused

Dhaka , Sat, 07 Apr 2012 ANI
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Dhaka, Apr.7 (ANI): Family members of victims killed during the 1971 Bangladesh war on Saturday hoped for a fair trial against those accused of committing crimes during the period.

The demand for the trial of alleged war criminals was started when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Government opened up a tribunal in 2010 for trying people for the genocide committed during the war.

Since then, the proceedings have been in progress against the accused.

Nuzhat Chaudhury, daughter of martyred Abdul Alim Chaudhury, a prominent eye specialist at the Dhaka Medical College said that family members and all the victims merely wanted a fair and transparent trial

"What we want as the families of the martyrs is that fair justice will be there, that will be clear, transparent and appreciated by international community and all communities and that fair justice and fair trial would be there and I am sure that would prove them guilty," said Nuzhat C Chaudhury.

She added that the Bangladesh government should strengthen the tribunals handling the trial against the accused, who had been ruling the country for the past two decades.

"More lawyer, criminal lawyers and lawyers who are experts in these types of international crimes, crimes against humanity they could be brought into this trial and number of lawyers should be increased, more logistical supplies should be there, more assistance should be there, research facilities should be there and funding should be put into it because its such a huge task. We always have to keep in mind that it's a huge task and that trial should have that strength to deal with this load of work as well as on fact must be kept in mind is that the people we are trying have been in power in this country for 21 dark years and they are internationally and nationally, economically, politically very strong," Nuzhat Chaudhury added.

Human rights activists had organised a month long protest programme throughout March to mark the occasion of Bangladesh's independence.

Bangladesh celebrated its 40th Independence Day on March 26.

Over the period since the formation of the tribunal, some prominent persons belonging to the Islamic organisation Jamaat-e-Islami have been arrested in connection with the war crimes.

The persons arrested were accused of siding with the opposition forces and committing excesses on the country's population, as Bangladesh waged its liberation struggle against Pakistan.

The country's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami have called the trial as farce and ploy on the part of the government to tackle the opposition.

However, Hasina recently reiterated her commitment of ensuring justice through these trials.

According to government records, more than three million people were killed and thousands of women raped in East Pakistan, during Bangladesh's 1971 war. (ANI)

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