Tuesday, January 8, 2019

3 youngsters accused of committing war crimes

Yesterday, Al Jazeera published my story on the recent arrest of a US citizen of Bangladeshi descent for allegedly committing international crimes including murder, rape and arson in the country's independence war even though he was 13 years of age in 1971 (he was born on January 3, 1958) when the offences were said to have been committed. 

You can read the article here

In the prosecutor's application for the arrest of Jubair (and 10 other people) it is stated that he was 62 years of age, suggesting that he would have been 14 - rather than 13 - in 1971. Whilst this was inaccurate - since all other documentation shows that he was born on January 13, 1958 - this may have just been a rounding-up error, since whilst he was 61 at the time of his arrest, he turned 62 two weeks late on January 3, 2019.

However, Jubair is not the only very young person whom the Tribunal allege to have committed offences - including, supposedly, the offence of rape!

In the same application seeking warrants of arrest, the prosecutors name two other men who would also have been (using the information given in the documentation) respectively, 12 and 13 years of age at the time the offences were committed.

The application says:

-  Siddique Rahman is aged 61 - which would have made him 13 in 1971

- Totun Master is aged 60 - which would have made him 12 in 1971

Rahman is now in jail, but Master was not arrested and is in hiding.

The fact that the ICT is now arresting people who were so young is in 1971 is all pretty extraordinary - and yet again raises questions about the integrity of the International Crimes Tribunal. 

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