US supports war crimes trial

The United States has reiterated its support to the Bangladesh government’s initiative to put to trial the crimes against humanities committed during the 1971 Liberation War.

Published : 10 May 2013, 05:09 AM
Updated : 10 May 2013, 01:31 PM

US State Department Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell extended the assurance to Bangladesh in wake of the ‘debate’ and political standoff over the fairness of the ongoing war crimes trials. The debate was renewed after Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman was sentenced to death for war crimes on Thursday.

“We are observing how the war crimes tribunals are functioning,” he said.

He also replied to various queries, including some related to the recent Savar building collapse in which at least 1000 people died so far, in a press conference at the media center of the Washington D.C.

On death penalty to the Jamaat leader, he said,” As we had said at the time of the first verdict delivered by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal, the United States supports the effort to bring to justice those who commit atrocities.”

“We believe that any such trials must be free, fair, and transparent in accordance with international standards that Bangladesh has agreed to uphold through its ratification of international agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
“We look to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all of its citizens and encourage all Bangladeshis to peacefully express their views, given some of the disturbances.”
“And while engaging in peaceful protest is a fundamental democratic right, we firmly believe violence is never the answer,” he said.