Dhaka to ratify Rome Statute of int'l court before March
Bangladesh will ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) before March to become a state party, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said during a meeting with the ICC president in the city yesterday.
The ICC, with its seat in The Hague, is a treaty-based international judicial body to try the crimes of very serious nature, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression, to uphold human rights and democracy.
ICC President Sang-Hyun Song came on a mission to persuade Bangladesh to join the ICC within March 10, 2010 so that the country can join the Review Conference in May.
The foreign minister expressed the government's commitment to ratification, said Dr Ahmed Ziauddin, convenor of Asian Network for the ICC, who attended the meeting.
Responding to the government's desire to bring the trial of war crimes committed during the war of liberation in 1971 under the ICC jurisdiction, ICC President Song said that it was not possible under the present Rome Statute.
However, Bangladesh could propose an amendment in this regard only after it becomes an ICC member.
Earlier in the day, a rights group Odhikar and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) jointly organised a workshop on the 'Ratification of the Rome Statute by Bangladesh' at Brac Centre Inn in the city.
"The ICC has no room to intervene in war crimes committed in 1971," said Sang-Hyun Song while speaking at the workshop.
The judicial system and legal experts of Bangladesh are adequate with considerable competence and knowledge to deal with the war crimes of 1971, he said.
Justice Shamsuddin Ahmed Chowdhury said the ratification of the Rome Statute by Bangladesh will prevent those having ambition to grab the state power extra-constitutionally.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director, Transparency International Bangladesh, said that ICC has not played its due role in Iraq, Afghanistan and Georgia.
Law Commission Chairman Justice Md Abdur Rashid also spoke at the workshop.
Bangladesh signed the Statute in 1999. A total of 110 countries have ratified it so far.
ICC was adopted in July 1998 by 120 countries and the Rome Statute came into force on July 1, 2002 with ratification by 60 countries.