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

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.