After the Liberation War 1971, Bangladesh stood proud as an independent state, but not before the Pakistani army got their hands red in a massacre which surmounted to 3 million people losing their lives, in events which collectively came to be known as one of the most significant accounts of genocide in history. It was a bloody without question, ugly without the silliness. The 71’ war saw every single code of conduct and ethics that exists when pakistani army were engaged in such a hostile manner, as the norms, the statutes, authorized and implemented by the likes of the Geneva convention the UN Human Rights, in relation to preserving innocent civilian lives during war, were shorn into pieces, as the Pakistani army played out their actions with inhuman and ruthless efficiency.
In those tormenting 9 months of killing of innocent people, fire and smoke, the unspeakable acts of cruelty carried out by the Pakistani army and their local collaborators, assets and so forth can all be mapped under the International Crimes Tribunal’s infallibly unforgiving gaze. The accounts just simply represented in numbers, is befuddling. 3 million people murdered, some 10 million people forced to flee and seek refuge in next door neighbours India, 400 hundred thousand incidents of women being raped, with the number of people lost or missing, unaccounted and unrequited for, even to this day.
Having committed genocide of this degree and magnitude amongst other grand scale international crimes, the perpetrators were brought to justice for the first time in 1972 under the Bangladesh Collaborators (Special Tribunal) Order 1972 , and up until the 15th of August 1975, the process of condemning these criminals to the fullest extent of justice in the country then, were proceeding as smoothly as possible. But significantly after that date, Bangladesh’s political equilibrium underwent various significant changes, which culminated in the International Crimes Tribunal [ICT] being indefinitely suspended, also shaping the country’s destiny for the next 3 decades, up until the tribunal resumed in 2010, amidst various political issues and propagandas.
After the trials resumed in 2010, the proceedings came under intense scrutiny from various organizations and political groups around the world, mainly down to ones being accused in this trial and their various support groups, appointed lawyers, political lobbyists amongst other various beneficiary organizations and entities. Not to mention of course as to how the convicted, amongst various other accusations, questioned the morality and ethicality of this tribunal and its proceedings, at that point in time.
Goal, Mission & Value
Inspired by the temerities of these hefty, unlawful accusations amidst other atrocities committed whilst the tribunal ran its course, the ICR Foundation was conceived. Born to fight fire with fire, shed light into the dark, looking to provide answers where there seemed to be too many questions, each more precarious than the other. ICR Foundation believes in fairness justice system, Human Rights and accountable democracy. ICR Foundation also believes that a harmonized, shared and participatory premises need to be build up between same minded platform to uphold justice and to remove the culture of impunity and to succeed in bringing the history back on right track which was distorted and misguided over the last few decades.
The ICR Foundation essentially promotes itself as a provider of legal services, but nevertheless prides itself on approaching and retaining individuals who are purely committed to the academic side of the legal system and its various aspects, believing that it can add value to the organization as a whole, for the foreseeable future. As mentioned before, the main purpose of this organization is to conduct research on various International crimes committed throughout history, and publish its findings accordingly on topics ranging from the different perspectives of International War Crimes, the various War Crime tribunals in and around the world, studying the way their respective systems work, arranging seminars, symposiums, group discussions and friendly debates in the process.
It is prudent to mention that, setting aside exploring International Crimes tribunals around the globe and their various intermediary branches, the ICR Foundation’s will divide its attention to the War Crimes tribunal situated in Bangladesh, and the various qualms and issues concerning it at the moment.
For example, the ICR Foundation studies the core mechanics of the domestic courts in Bangladesh, the rules and statutes dictating the International Crimes Tribunal there, including realizing the decisions already taken and the issues already adjudicated in the tribunal. Dissecting and compartmentalizing the aspects which struck us as most intriguing, we take a comprehensive look into the thought process of the tribunal i.e. how they reached the decisions they have reached, those incriminating documents, riveting pieces of evidence proved conclusive, in the methods the decisions were taken by the International War Crimes Tribunal. It is the ICR Foundation’s mission to studiously examine all this raw information and data if you like, make it as graphically astute and legible as possible, and consequently publishing it for worldwide public access.
It is no secret that the International Crimes tribunal is and has been subject to the prolonged and intense gaze of various organizations and various sagacious individuals in Bangladesh and indeed worldwide. Amidst all this speculation and the various negative propagandas (as mentioned above), the ICR Foundation will aim to provide some serenity, inducing the simplicity of logic in between all this darkness and confusion.
Nevertheless, the ICR Foundation will not sit content in only examining the theoretical side of International War crimes and its various aspects, but it will also take a practical approach into tackling issues disconcerting the International Crimes crimes Tribunals across the planet and of course the one in Bangladesh which will be our primary focus. ICR Foundation will arrange seminars, meetings, symposiums and workshops as it looks to divulge itself into exploring these delicate issues surrounding international crimes. And also when the time is right the ICR Foundation will also publish its more significant findings in the form of books, posters or booklets, whichever is deemed sufficient.
Now the ICR Foundation believes, it is not enough to just look at all these issues with a subjective viewpoint and indeed being limited to the intricacies of the legal system whilst analysing them. No, if the atrocities and the bloodshed in 1971 have taught us anything, it is to raise awareness amongst not only the section of people, lawyers or activists involved in various aspects of International War Crimes, but also anyone amongst the educated, concerned sect of a given population, and that is what the ICR Foundation strives to do as well. However it is with grief that the ICR Foundation witnessed, that apart from a few concerned individuals and organizations such as the Gonojagoron Mancha or the Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, there was little resistance from anyone else, when the War Crimes tribunal was subject to unfair speculation and immense scrutiny.
Finally, the ICR Foundation would like to draw a final concluding statement, directing your attention to another important immediate topic at hand. It is the ICR Foundation’s wish, to create a comprehensive virtual learning portal accessible form any corner of the world, to those who wish to gain an in-depth knowledge about the International War Crime. The ICR Foundation believes it will open up the world to them in a different way, and it is already in primary negotiations with the appropriate authorities, regarding the approval and maintenance of an online learning portal. Regardless, it is pleased to announce that assembling and gathering the necessary resource materials for this illustrious project, is well under way. It is due to be noted that the ICR Foundation is a strictly non-profit organization. It is currently funded by the generous few individuals who are true believers of the reasons behind the Liberation War in 1971, and also by the ever enthusiastic and resourceful members of the organization itself as well.
The ICR Foundation has a long road ahead of it, but hopes and prays for your support every step of the way, knowing that that it is with only your blessings and well-wishes that we can work towards making our mark in history. Embracing the terrible sacrifice of those 30 million people who gave their lives, so that we can live in a better world, we will shoulder the huge burden of responsibilities still left on our shoulders and try our best towards realizing the dream of a utopic Bangladesh, one which those freedom fighters set out to create all those years ago.
Objectives in Summarised form
- Gathering new materials and potentially expanding the research on International Crimes and its related issues.
- Garnering, preserving and analysing information about international crimes and their various aspects.
- Understanding the link between the Liberation War and the related War Crimes conducted during those periods and of course making people aware of them
- Maintaining regular contact with major national and international entities concerned with the various aspect of International War Crimes.
- Maintaining a professional a professional relationship with national and international media and their various intermediary organizations.
- Analyse the International Crime Tribunal itself and the judiciary system involved.
- Coordinate with an experienced panel of legal experts, to critically analyse and resolve viable doubts about the legal system and the various decisions they make, providing sound legal advice in the process to anyone in need of it.