Growing global support for war crimes trial | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 22, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 22, 2010

Editorial

Growing global support for war crimes trial

The process must be above question

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DELEGATES from 11 countries and the local organisers of the seminar on trial of 1971 war crimes, held in Dhaka on Sunday, were unequivocal in their observation that the genocide in Bangladesh was among the worst since the Second World War. This eggs us on powerfully to successfully conduct the trial of the collaborators of the Pakistan army who actively participated in the mass killing which saw three million Bengalees being liquidated in nine months.
It is certainly good news that participants in the international conference extended wholehearted support to the trial of the war criminals. They had succeeded in rehabilitating themselves in the last four decades, as successive governments made no serious attempt to bring them to justice. There was a shameful hesitation and indecisiveness on this issue, a blot on the nation's collective conscience simply because the very concept of democracy and a just social order is negated by the presence of such killers in society. It is a terrible moral burden on the nation that it had to be relived of.
While fully sharing the sentiments of the international conference urging support of the global community behind accomplishing the unfinished task, we emphasise the need for meeting the full measure of international standards applicable in the conduct of war crimes trial. Everything has to be done within the due legal process. Justice and fair play should be the key words with nobody being harassed or intimidated unnecessarily or for settling old scores. We want the trial to be of unimpeachable standard having both transparency and clarity of purpose, proceedings and outcome.
We believe those who have been demanding trial of war criminals over the years will finally have the sense of fulfillment, when the killers and rapists of 1971 are prosecuted for the crimes committed nearly 40 years ago. However, as one foreign delegate has said, loss of time is not a significant factor here. What the nation must remain steadfastly committed to is the old dictumcrime must not go unpunished.
The delegates from 11 countries deserve our thanks for extending their moral support to a historic process that will finally put an end to a dark episode that caused great discomfiture to the conscientious all over the world. The foreign delegates' stand on the 1971 war crimes bears ample testimony to the truth that crimes committed against humanity anywhere in the world are an assault on mankind as a whole.

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