India urged to protect Bangladesh war crimes witness
New York: Authorities in India and Bangladesh should take all necessary steps to protect Shukhoranjan Bali, a long-missing witness in the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
Bali, a Bangladeshi, claims he was abducted by the Bangladeshi police from the entrance to the ICT courthouse, detained, then forced by security forces across the border into India.
In India, he claims he was detained and tortured by the Border Security Force (BSF) before being held in Kolkata’s Dum Dum jail.
“The apparent abduction of a witness in a trial at the ICT is a cause for serious concern about the conduct of the prosecution, judges and government,” said Brad Adams at Human Rights Watch.
Bali was due to appear to give evidence as a defence witness before the ICT, a court expressly set up to try people suspected of war crimes during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
He had previously been listed as a prosecution witness.
Bali claims that on November 05, 2012, he was abducted by people in plainclothes at the gates of the ICT, put into a police van and then taken away to a police office.
Witnesses present at the courthouse claimed to have seen the abduction.
Complaints to the ICT led to the judges asking for the prosecution, rather than an independent body, to investigate the allegation.
The prosecution returned to the court and denied the allegations entirely, saying there had been no abduction.
The judges ordered no further investigation into Bali’s disappearance. No information about his whereabouts was made public and the government ignored calls to set up an investigation.
The attorney general, testifying on a habeas corpus petition filed on Bali’s behalf, stated that the abduction claim had been made to bring the court into disrepute.
Bali had been expected to counter prosecution allegations about the involvement of Delwar Hossain Sayedee in the 1971 murder of Bali’s brother.
Saydeee has since been sentenced to hang, in part for the murder of Bali’s brother.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Panel discussion over continuous chaos in Parliament on demonetisation
- Opposition observes 'black day' to mark one month of demonetisation
- 800 tourists stranded in Andamans due to heavy rains, Navy launches rescue operation
- Watch shocking visuals - Speeding car rams pedestrians in Kolkata, 3 killed
- Cashless transactions increased rapidly following note ban
- Twitter users blast Arvind Kejriwal as he says 'Modi will never appoint a Muslim Vice President no matter what Jung does'
- Yuvraj Singh-Hazel Keech Reception: MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag attend lavish party — PHOTOS INSIDE
- Pakistan International Airlines plane from Chitral to Islamabad crashes near Havelian, 48 people dead
- Gali Janardhana Reddy converted Rs 100 crore black money by paying 20% commission, claims driver's suicide note
- Was Rahul Gandhi smiling during Jayalalithaa's funeral? Twitter users share pictures as proof