In 2010, upon the re-election of the Awami League party, Sheikh Hasina, its leader and the daughter of Mujibur Rahman, reversed her father’s decision of amnesty and instituted a War Crimes Tribunal, which was given the mandate of trying purported war criminals. The act, has served to open the old wounds that divided Bangladesh in the 1970s and has triggered violent and polarized responses. The War Crimes Tribunal has been criticized by the several international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as well as by special groups within the United Nations. The Economist magazine has also exposed several shortcomings in the administration of the Tribunal and it is apparent that the judicial body has become an agent through which the government is targeting its opposition.

Our Mission is to:

  • Raise awareness on human rights issues in Bangladesh
  • Promote and further the causes of justice, due process and the rule of law in Bangladesh
  •  Advocate and create awareness of the failings of the current War Crimes Tribunal in order that the necessary measures are taken to stop these egregious violations of human rights
  • Promote and pressure the Bangladesh government into adhering to international standards in its judicial systems and processes
  • Pressure the Bangladesh government towards reconciliation and away fom revenged based killings/politics, which we strongly believe will further polarize the country and its population
  • Create dialogue amongst key stakeholders who wish to see Bangladesh prosper and build the capacity of the third group of Bangladeshi’s who share this idea and who we hope will push for the reconciliation of Bangladesh 

Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971 in the Bangladesh Liberation War. The Liberation War was bloody and devastating as the Pakistan army resisted the movement, and groups resisted the independence movement. The Indian government assisted the Bangladesh independence movement. The escalation of violence during this period therefore lead to a division amongst the population – on the one side  pro Islamic/pro Pakistani and on the other, pro Secular/pro India. Blood was lost on both sides of the war. However, in the interests of peace and progress, the leader of the independence movement Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared a general amnesty to those who were seen as violators during the Liberation war. Over the four decades since its independence, the two sides have often worked together towards building the country, and indeed much progress has been made. 

Bangladesh war crime tribunal goes through upheaval as chairman resigns

The Economist examined the Bangladesh Tribunal and wrote: "These concerns are so serious that there is risk not only of a miscarriage of justice affecting the individual defendants, but also that the wrongs with Bangladesh has already suffered will be aggravated by the flawed process of the tribunal. That would not heal the country's wounds, but deepen them." 

The Economist noted the following: 

  • Evidence suggests that the government pressured the judges. 
  • Evidence suggests that the guilty verdict was reached by the judge before defense witnesses were even done. 
  • It is not an international court since it is not founded on international law. 

Bangladesh was just rated to be the best country in South Asia in terms of gender equality, even better than India.

It is worth noting that both the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the main opposition leader are women.

Bangladesh verdict sparks fatal riots

After a death sentence was passed down on Feb. 28, 2013, from the War Crimes Tribunal, riots broke out in Bangladesh, leaving at least 70 dead. 

A country of 150 million people has been divided into two groups which are turning against each other and towards a civil war.United, all of us can prosper and grow.  United, we can change the world. 

We have changed the world and made remarkable progress. 
But now that progress is being threatened- with violence and hatred and bloodshed.

And for what? 

We all want the same things. We all want peace. We all want liberty. And we all want justice.We are all in this together – and we cannot go back. We need to come to terms with our past and seek justice. But we need to do so without turning back the hands of time.