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Tribunal
Lives of Jamaat leaders at stake
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Wednesday, 28th March, 2012
Mar 28, 2012
Nizami’s son in Washington
Correspondent from Washington
Press Conference
Mohammad Nakibur Rahman, son of Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, accused for his alleged involvement in committing crimes against humanity during the war of liberation, has said that the lives of his father and other Jamaat leaders are in stake, who have been kept in detention for baseless charges. The innocent persons are facing the worst possible persecution by the present government.
He said this while speaking at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on March 26 Monday evening (Bangladesh time March 27 Tuesday morning). Toby Cadman, counsel for the accused Jamaat leaders, expert in war crime laws and Peter Hickman, chief of the newsmaker committee of the National Press Club also spoke on the occasion.
Nakibur Rahman said my father is a law abiding and very simple person. His entire life has been dedicated for the welfare of the people. Despite being a former minister and chief of the third largest political party of Bangladesh, he does not own a private car. There was no case against him anywhere in the country till 2008. Manufacturing of charges against him has been started when the present government came to power. A peace-loving person overnight has become a victim of all kind of allegations. Following his arrest, cases have been filed against him one after another. A 70-year old person has been subjected to torture in police custody. In the name of interrogation, police kept him in a small cube where a 200-watt light bulb was switched on and as a result he could not sleep for over a month.
In an emotion-choked voice, he said, despite court orders he was denied medical attention. Without considering his age and ailments, he has been moved around from one prison to another just to harass him. He is now detained in Gazipur Prison, where my mother and sisters are facing harassments when they go there to visit him. Sometimes they were kept in waiting for the whole day, and some days after waiting the whole day they could not see my father. Although my brothers maintain a distance from politics, the government’s vendetta is not limited against my father. My younger brother was working at a public medical university as an orthopedic surgeon. He was physically assaulted, had to quit his job and finally he had to leave the country, and take refuge in Australia. My little brother is studying in Malaysia, as his passport was about to expire, he applied for renewal. But his passport was not renewed because he is the son of Motiur Rahman Nizami. Right now he is a stateless person. A case has been filed against the ministry of foreign affairs. But no step was taken ever after five months.
Toby Cadman said the law by which the tribunal has been trying people for allegedly committing crimes against humanity are not consistent to the respective international laws and principles. The laws and rules of the tribunal which were framed in order to try the accused by avoiding the criminal procedure laws of Bangladesh are conflicting with the constitution. The accused persons have been kept in detention for long 19 months without any formal charge. Bangladesh government did not properly reply to a letter sent by the working group of the United Nations asking the reasons of such arbitrary detention. Taking into consideration the announcement of a government minister that trial would be completed by 2012 and the verdicts would be executed by 2013, if a section of people think that the trial is politically motivated and the government wants to use it for its next election campaign, then they could not be blamed. He said, this type of trial is very complicated, expensive and protracted as every piece of document and witness are needed to verify very carefully. But the government of Bangladesh is in a hurry to finish it. By making various statements they are indirectly creating pressure on the tribunal, which are obstacles to fair trial. In order to ensure international standard of trial he urged the government of Bangladesh to implement the recommendations of US Ambassador for War Crimes Stephen J Rapp.