A shock surpassed by outrage
WE are appalled by the leading opposition political party BNP publicly demanding an immediate halt to the proceedings of war crime's tribunal which are otherwise firmly in progress. We are left with a feeling of consternation by the opposition calling on international community to raise objections to the trial process and put pressure on the government to stop the tribunal's proceedings. More than the shock, we feel outraged at the BNP's blatantly reckless positioning.
This is highly irresponsible on the part of BNP, grossly out of remit, pathologically disrespectful of the law of the land, and patently denigrating to the moral obligation to bring those accused of crimes against humanity under trial. Whatever rhetoric the BNP might have hidden behind thus far, its latest action lends itself to an unassailable interpretation of the party having been against the war crimes trial as such.
We, in the media, and the jurists, have been constantly emphasising the need for the trial to be transparent and fully in consonance with international standards, the best practice methods of which are available and accessible. And the government has also subjected itself to scrutiny from time to time. Pointing out the flaws, if any, and setting these right have of course been legitimate concerns and these have been voiced, as well, but nobody ever questioned the fundamental motive and necessity of the trial.
By all means, have concerns for removing imperfections and give suggestions for improvement, if you have. But to say that the trial process must be immediately stopped is not just to seek its discontinuance but its wholesale derailment. BNP says that those accused are being victimised and should be released, how can it be victimisation when the charges made against them have all been in the public domain? And the legal process mounted against them is all about proving guilt or innocence in accord with normative principals of the law.
Therefore, our counsel to the BNP is withdraw the demand for a stoppage to the process while giving your inputs to improve the process, if you have respect for public opinion and the countless victims of the genocide and crimes against humanity in 1971.