2009 mutiny: HRW tells Bangladesh to halt mass trial
New York: Bangladeshi authorities should halt ongoing mass trials, related to the 2009 mutiny by members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), which have been proven repeatedly to violate basic fair trial standards, New York-based Human Rights Watch has said.
On October 22, a military court convicted 723 of the 735 accused in the Sadar Battallion of the BDR, after a mass trial which did not meet fair trial standards.
“The atrocities that took place during the mutiny need to be investigated and prosecuted, but the authorities have allowed expediency to trump justice,” said Brad Adams, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Adams added: “Mass and unfair trials have been staged with little concern for the rights of the accused.”
On February 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. After the mutiny was quelled, the authorities responded with mass arrests of more than 6,000 BDR members from different units around the country. Members of each battalion have been tried together, often several hundred at a time.
The accused in the Sadar Battalion were charged with offenses under the BDR mutiny laws, which include disobeying orders, failure to report to duty, and aiding and abetting the mutineers.
The highest sentence for these offenses is seven years, and the lightest is four months. Two of the accused died before the trial was completed, 10 were acquitted, and the remaining 723 were convicted.
“Each accused has the right to a fair trial, meaning there must be specific evidence against him, a lawyer with sufficient time and access to represent him, and an impartial court. None of these basic principles have been met.” said Adams.
He added: “It is likely that many of those convicted had nothing to do with the mutiny, causing them and their families massive and unnecessary hardship.”
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Will Akhilesh-Rahul alliance be able to trump BJP in UP elections?
- Arms case: Salman Khan acquitted by Jodhpur court
- Raisina Dialogue 2017: Pakistan must walk away from terror, says PM Modi
- DNA: Analysis of insensitivity shown by political leaders over rising poverty in India
- Etah: School bus collides with truck, several children killed
- World's 30 most dynamic cities: Check out the full list
- WATCH: Kieron Pollard's incredible one-handed six demoralises Fawad Ahmed
- China State TV said that its troops can reach New Delhi in 48 hours in war scenario; Indians slay it with their replies
- IND vs ENG, 2nd ODI: Yuvraj Singh silences critics with 14th ODI hundred, fourth against England — WATCH
- Bengaluru pips Silicon Valley to become world's most dynamic city