US backs peaceful protests, calls for fair trial in Bangladesh
Washington: The United States has insisted on a "transparent and fair trial" in Bangladesh, and supported peaceful protests in the country, in the wake of a top leader of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami awarded death sentence for involvement in mass murder during the 1971 liberation war.
"As we said at the time of this first verdict and Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal, the United States supports bringing to justice those who commit atrocities," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday.
A special Bangladeshi tribunal handed down death penalty to Muhammad Quamaruzzaman for collaborating in the mass murder of 164 unarmed civilians in Sohagpur village on July 25, 1971
"We believe that any such trials must be fair, and transparent in accordance with international standards that Bangladesh has agreed to uphold through its ratification of international agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," he said in response to a question.
The US official said that the Government of Bangladesh should ensure the safety of all of its citizens and encourage them to peacefully express their views.
"While engaging in peaceful protest is a fundamental democratic right, we firmly believe violence is never the answer," Ventrell said in response to a question.
"The people who are expressing their views should do so in a peaceful manner and we encourage a free and transparent process," he added.