Bangladesh mass sentencing condemnedJune 19th, 2012 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS
New York, June 19 (IANS) The prosecution teams conducting the mass trials of the alleged mutineers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) must immediately stop the trials, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, a day after a mass trial in a military court led to the conviction of 611 of the 621 accused.
Mass trials to date have shown numerous violations of the right to a fair trial, especially the impossibility of lawyers to give proper advice and preparation for each individual, it said.
Human Rights Watch urged the Bangladesh government to establish an independent investigative and prosecutorial task force with sufficient expertise, authority and resources to rigorously probe and prosecute allegations of unlawful conduct during the mutiny.
“Those responsible for killing 74 people during the February 2009 mutiny by the border guards should be held accountable - but only in trials that meet international fair trial standards and the guarantees of the Bangladeshi constitution,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“The government should halt all trials for the horrific crimes committed in the mutiny until the system is changed to ensure that each accused receives a fair trial.”
On Feb 25-26, 2009, members of the BDR, since renamed the Bangladesh Border Guards, staged a mutiny against their commanding officers, killing 74 and injuring many others.
Some victims were subjected to sexual violence.
Under pressure from the army, which had urged the government to use overwhelming force against the BDR compound in a heavily populated area of Dhaka, the government responded with mass arrests of more than 6,000 BDR members from different units around the country.
To date, some 4,000 have been found guilty by military tribunals. In addition, 847 of the accused also face charges under the Bangladesh Criminal Code, some of which carry the death penalty.
- HRW asks Bangladesh to halt border guards' mutiny trial - Jul 05, 2012
- Border guards' trial begins for Dhaka massacre - Aug 24, 2011
- Bangladesh jails 3,036 border guards for 2009 mutiny - Sep 12, 2011
- 2009 mutiny: Bangladesh jails 657 border guards - Jun 27, 2011
- Zia asks Hasina to quit - Feb 25, 2011
- Six courts set up to try Bangladesh border guard mutineers - Nov 16, 2009
- Dhaka to try 4,000 troopers for mutiny - Sep 26, 2009
- Bangladeshi jurists oppose military law to try border guard mutineers - Sep 03, 2009
- 824 charged in Bangladesh border guards mutiny - Jul 12, 2010
- Bangladesh gets new border force post-mutiny - Jan 23, 2011
- Bangladesh begins trial of rebel troopers - Jan 06, 2011
- Let civil court try Dhaka mutineers: Human Rights Watch - Mar 20, 2009
- Dhaka mulls stringent law to tackle rebellion - Feb 25, 2011
- Stringent law in offing for Bangladesh border guards - Sep 20, 2010
- Bangladesh border guards go on trial for mutiny - Feb 23, 2010
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