Acting Secretary General Dr. Shafiqur Rahman urges countrymen to hold peaceful resistance; calls the world community to raise voice against the autocratic government
Detail of the statement is given below:
“On 12 December 2013 at 10.01pm Abdul Quader Mollah, Assistant Secretary-General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was executed following a highly flawed judicial process before both the International Crimes Tribunal and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that has been characterized as a gross miscarriage of justice.
We wish to express our very deep regret that the current Government under the autocratic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed has brought the country onto the brink of conflict.
We wish to condemn the acts of the Government in the strongest possible terms and condemn the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah as an act of judicial murder.
It is clear that the Government is trying to implement its conspiratorial policy of destroying Jamaat-e-Islami, a legitimate political party, and this must not be tolerated. All must be equal before the law.
The Government has manipulated a trial process to deliver an execution before the election. It has rushed to judgment and removed any possibility for long-term stability and reconciliation in Bangladesh. We once again call on the international community to condemn this autocratic Government and urgently intervene before any further injustices are carried out by a Government that has now lost all legitimacy.
We repeat that, as a political and religious objection, Jamaat-e-Islami advocated for the unity of Pakistan in 1971. We reject any suggestion that Jamaat-e-Islami collaborated with any military or paramilitary formation in the commission crimes during the War of Liberation. We fully accept that crimes were committed on a colossal scale during a nine-month period by all parties to the conflict and condemn those responsible.
It is important to stress that those accused of having committed Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity during the 1971 War of Liberation must be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal of law, independent of political influence, in an atmosphere where witnesses may give evidence without duress, where defence counsel may operate independently and impartially without the threat of arrest and that only those bearing individual criminal responsibility be tried irrespective of whether they are members of the military or civilians and irrespective of whether they are Pakistani, Bihari, Bengali or Indian. This should be considered the absolute minimum requirement. Further, as the Government of Bangladesh has clearly demonstrated it is unwilling or incapable of holding trials under such conditions, with full respect for the fundamental rights of the accused, then this process must be transferred to a tribunal of international jurisdiction that is capable of holding trials under such conditions.
Bangladesh is slipping into deep conflict. The root cause of this division rests solely with an autocratic Government led by a leader driven by vengeance. The Tribunal has been used as a tool of retribution. While the argument for justice for victims of those terrible war crimes is irrefutable, the current Government has hijacked this process into the political arena. It is now evident that this court has not adhered to the most basic of legal principles. Prosecutors and judges have colluded with each other or with the government. A witness was abducted from the gates of the Tribunal in November 2012. There have been countless additional examples of misconduct within the tribunal.
If Bangladesh continues its current trajectory, another political tinderbox may be lit. We call on the international community to make clear to the Bangladeshi Government that these Tribunals must not be manipulated further to eliminate political opponents. Only through international pressure to reconstitute this tribunal, adhering to internationally accepted norms of human rights and fairness, can Bangladesh truly reconcile with the past and move forward as a nation. Truth, Justice and Reconciliation will only be served by:
i. The immediate commencement of a reconstituted, internationally sanctioned and supervised war crimes tribunal;
ii. A moratorium on all executions handed down by the tribunal
iii. A fully independent inquiry into the existing judgments handed down by the Tribunal;
iv. A halt to all current trials until the above measures are fully implemented
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the international community, in particular the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay; US Secretary of State, John Kerry; US Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp; Prime Minister of Turkey, RecepTayyipErdogan; President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul; Lord Avebury; Lord Carlile; EU High Commissioner, Baroness Catherine Ashton; UK Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, BaronessSayedaWarsi; Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma; Members of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights; European Parliament; Human Rights Watch; No Peace Without Justice; Amnesty International; International Center for Transitional Justice; International Commission of Jurists; Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales; KirstyBrimelow QC; Sir Desmond de Silva QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC; Karim Khan QC; Sir Henry Brooke QC CMG; Members of the House of Lords: Lord Judd; Lord Hussain; Baroness Kennedy QC; Lord Joffe; Lord Harris; Baroness Brinton; Lord Swinfen; Lord Dholakiaand the numerous other organisations and individuals that have raised their voices of concern with the Bangladesh Prime Minister regarding the Tribunal and the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah and request that they continue to raise their concern.
We thank the members of the international community that have spoken and continue to be true friends to all Bangladeshis and strongly condemn the attempts by the Awami League Government to push legitimate demonstrators against the international community. This must not be allowed to happen.
We call on our fellow countrymen to protest peacefully and not resort to violence. We also call on our fellow countrymen to remain vigilant against an autocratic government desperate to divide the nation, declare a state of emergency and ensure that no legitimate elections are held in their desperate attempt to cling on to power.
Finally, we call on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to initiate an investigation into the situation in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh bears criminal responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague that have been committed by its Security Forces. Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives; many more have been arbitrarily detained and tortured.
We further note with deep concern that the recent statements from leading members of the Government to target demonstrators and create an atmosphere of conflict constitutes incitement to commit crimes recognized under international law. The international community must not allow this to continue.
It is the Government of Bangladesh that bears responsibility for these acts and the international community can no longer observe what is unfolding in silence.”