Process of war crimes trial set in motion | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 27, 2010


Process of war crimes trial set in motion

Let it be a means of vindication not vengeance

WITH the announcement of the tribunal, investigation agency and the prosecution team, the process of the trial of those involved in committing crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation has been set in motion. Through this the government has completed the initial steps to fulfil its pledge to bring to justice the war criminals of 1971.
The people of Bangladesh in 1971 were the victims of one of the worst genocides, and other forms of war crimes in history. And it is a travesty that the perpetrators, for some reason or the other, have eluded justice till now. We feel that more than the fulfilment of AL's electoral pledge, the initiation of the judicial process has met the wish of all Bangalees to see that the criminals are brought to book.
But while the process of justice will move in its own definite way let not the spirit behind the idea of bringing to trial the war criminals be lost on us. The underlying motive for the trial we feel is not to exact vengeance but to establish a moral position that the rule of law must always prevail and that justice must be done for crimes against humanity.
The trial we are certain will also help to establish and assert the universal truth once again that crime never pays, that killing of innocent women, children and men, and crimes like rape and arson will not go unpunished, and that the guilty will have to face the law and answer for their actions, eventually. But most importantly, putting the offenders on trial will help vindicate the War of Liberation and the sacrifices of the martyrs and of our mothers and sisters and the valiant freedom fighters. And, in as much as the process will be under the watch of the international community as well as the people of Bangladesh, it will help to expose to all the sheer magnitude of one of the world's worst massacres and the gruesome wickedness with which the killings and the other crimes were committed against the people of Bangladesh, something that not many outside the country are aware of.
We want to underscore that the process must not only be transparent it must also live up to the highest standards of judicial process. All those that are involved in the process should bear in mind that any deficiency in the conduct or lacuna in the process may call into question the trial itself. Let not the dignity of the Liberation War and the sacrifice of the martyrs be mired by any shortcoming in the process of the trial. Towards this end we urge upon the government to spare no efforts.

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