Bangladesh sets up war crimes court

Government to try those accused of atrocities during country's battle for independence.

    Pakistani forces signed a treaty of surrender in 1971 following a nine-month war [File: AFP]

    "Only the Bangladeshis who formed auxiliary forces to aid the Pakistani army and committed crimes against humanity will be put on trial."

    Bloody campaign

    A statement from the law ministry said the tribunal will conduct the trials under a 1973 act outlining prosecution and punishment for people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law.

    If found guilty, some of those tried could face the death penalty.

    Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, won independence from Pakistan in December 1971 following a nine-month war, which also saw India getting involved that hastened the surrender of Pakistaini troops.

    The independence campaign was led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country's founding leader.

    Rahman, the father of the current prime minister Sheikh Hasina, had planned to put the alleged war criminals on trial before his assassination in a coup in 1975.

    Bangladesh's official figures say Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed an estimated three million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions more to flee their homes during the war.

    However, no one has yet been convicted for the atrocities and a combination of international manipulation and domestic politics has been blamed for the judicial inaction.

    A private group that has investigated the conflict has identified more than 1,600 people, including Pakistani generals, as complicit in the atrocities.

    But Bangladeshi authorities said Pakistani generals and army officers would not be tried by the tribunal.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months