Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Int'l conference seeks to identify war criminals

July 28, 2009

Victime in War
Liberation War Museum holds an international conference in Dhaka on July 30-31, seeking to start a process of identifying the perpetrators of genocide during Liberation War in 1971, and develop a broad network to ensure justice to those responsible for crimes against humanity.

This conference is going to be held at a historic moment for the nation when the government is moving towards right direction to try the war criminals, said Liberation War Museum Trustee Mofidul Haque at a press conference on the museum premises in the capital.

The Second International Conference on Genocide, Truth and Justice, which will be held at Cirdap auditorium, will bring together representatives from the International Criminal Court, international legal prosecutors involved in war crimes tribunals, International Council of Jurists, and academics from Hong Kong, Korea, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, Canada, Cambodia, UK and local experts.

A special programme involving witnesses, victims of genocide and members of young generation will also be arranged. Arrangements will also be made to ensure participation of the expatriate Bangladeshis via online video.

Mofidul Haque said Liberation War Museum held the first such conference in March last year to create consensus at home and abroad about the demand of trial of the war criminals.

Now that the nation voted for a change upholding the core values of liberation war, the government has also decided to try the war criminals and made necessary amendments to the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973.

The conference, therefore, carries great significance for Bangladesh as well as the world community, Mofidul Haque said, adding that it will address how societies victimized by genocide and mass atrocities can move forward and how world community can prevent such brutality from recurring in future.

The conference will pave the way to be supportive of the justice initiative undertaken by the government and get the community involved with the process of the trial, he said.

It will assist in recalling the Bangladesh genocide back onto global agenda and raise awareness amongst Bangladeshis at home and across the globe to strengthen the initiative to bring the war criminals of 1971 to justice, he noted.

Bangladesh can learn from the experiences of those who were involved in trying war criminals in different countries, Haque said.

Liberation War Museum Trustees Tariq Ali and architect Rabiul Husain also spoke.

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