Monthly Archive: February 2013

Bangladesh sentences Islamist leader to death for war crimes

A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced an Islamist party leader to death on Thursday, the third verdict by the court set up to investigate abuses during the country’s independence war. Delwar Hossain Sayedee, 73, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was found guilty of charges of mass killing, rape, arson, looting and forcing minority Hindus to convert to Islam during the...

Nepal: Denial of right to housing and forced evictions

International human rights law recognizes the right of all to an adequate standard of living, and that includes adequate housing. The human right to adequate housing recognises that every man, woman, youth and child has the right to acquire and maintain a secure home and community in which to live in peace with dignity. The Interim Constitution of Nepal aims...

Bangladesh: Focus shifts now to Supreme Court

Now all eyes are on the Supreme Court and the government as the latter prepares to appeal against the war crimes tribunal’s verdict that sentenced Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah to a “lenient” life in prison. The appeal seeking the death sentence could be filed as soon as next week utilising the amended International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, which President...

Bangladesh protests trigger changes to war crimes law

Bangladesh’s parliament has amended a law which will allow the state to appeal against the life sentence of an Islamist party leader, after protesters called for his execution. Tens of thousands of demonstrators in the capital, Dhaka, cheered the news. The legal amendment also paves the way for the prosecution and potential ban of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Jamaat chief Abdul...

Bangladesh: Post-Trial Amendments Taint War Crimes Process

Retroactive legislation that violates fair trial standards undermines the legitimacy of the work of Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT). The amendments were offered to enable an appeals court to overturn a life sentence imposed on Abdul Qader Mollah and impose the death penalty. Amid controversy over the conviction and sentencing of  people accused of crimes during the 1971 independence war...

OHCHR Report on advice and technical assistance to Sri Lanka, on reconciliation and accountability

For the full report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on advice and technical assistance for the Government of Sri Lanka on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, click here Summary and Conclusions/Recomendations below. Summary The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission made significant and far-reaching recommendations towards reconciliation and strengthening the rule of...

No effort made to follow up promises on human trafficking: Human Rights Commission of Maldives

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has accused state and private sector employers in the country of lacking consistency in their efforts to address human trafficking, preventing “real” change in controlling illegal migration. HRCM member Jeehan Mahmoud told Minivan News that despite attempts under the present government to try and introduce new legislation, the Maldives had made little progress towards improving the...

UN human rights experts urge Bangladesh to ensure fair trials for past crimes

Two independent United Nations human rights experts today stressed that justice for past crimes in Bangladesh requires fair trials, after voicing concern at recent sentences, including the death penalty, handed down in cases that did not ensure due process. The International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh recently sentenced Abdul Kalam Azad to death, following a trial conducted in absentia that did...

Bangladesh: National Human Rights Commission trashes Human Rights Watch views

The National Human Rights Commission has strongly refuted the Human Rights Watch’s observations about the conduct of trial by international crimes tribunals in Bangladesh. New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its “2013 World Report” released on February 1 said, “Serious flaws in the laws and rules of procedure governing the trials of ICT have gone unaddressed, despite proposals from...