Today the Honorable Appellate Division (AD) has dismissed the review petition filed by Motiur Rahman Nizami and thereby confirmed the death sentence passed by the AD earlier. The Court found Motiur Rahman Nizami guilty of committing war crimes and crime against humanity during 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh. On behalf of the International Crimes Research Foundation (ICRF) we would like to express our delight and immense satisfaction on the decision. Formulated in 2010, the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTBD) has worked tirelessly in order to establish justice for the victims of ’71.
Not only is the tribunal an embodiment of righteousness and justice in the country, today it is a role model for others around the world to follow and leads by example when it comes to tackling the culture of non-justice. Even though it was established in 1971 in a bid to resolve international crimes and took nearly 39 years to come into full force, the tribunal has nonetheless has managed to prove to the civil world that it is better to start late rather than not do it at all. Perhaps that won’t change things significantly or instantly, but it is a significant step towards battling non-justice under any circumstances.
Now while we fully respect the current ideas and opinions of those in favour of death penalties and those who are not, it is our belief that each nation reserves the right to enforce capital punishment, the way its constitution permits or allows it, which after all is one of its most fundamental rights. Therefore we respect the laws and the boundaries each nation has set out for them and they are fully entitled to deliver capital punishment the way they have devised them to be. And as such on that note, we welcome the fact that death penalties are enforced as the highest form of punishment within the justice system of Bangladesh and we express our utmost respect to that.
While ICRF is contended with the performance and standard maintained throughout articulation of all these cases handled so far by the ICT, however, there is still room for improvement regarding the security of ICTBD personnel as well as witness protection. We are of course still under no illusions as to how difficult and strenuous a move it must have been when the country decided to finally confine and try those who have the blood of 30 million people on their hands and who knows how many millions more, in a court of law. Credit of course goes to the Bangladeshi government of course who also recognized that the time was finally ripe. The ICRF would like to congratulate the government on that note who embarked and are successfully concluding this quest.
Motiur Rahman Nizami’s verdict and subsequent upholding by the Supreme Court as well as appellate division is another giant step forward for the justice system of Bangladesh and its implications. The whole world in fact is a beneficiary of the ICTBD’s actions for the nature of international crimes is such that, they can be perceived as transgressions towards the whole of the human race in general. We hope that the ICTBD will reinvigorate and inspire justice systems around the world to jump into action.
International Crimes Research Foundation
5Th May 2016