Professor Ghulam Azam

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International Protest and Comment

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The international community has started to take note of the so-called International Crimes Tribunal and have raised questions about its legality and authority.

During a roundtable discussion at CIRDAP auditorium yesterday, professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley,  Laurel E Fletcher, stated that “such trials run the risk of turning into political show trials, where laws are bent to produce predetermined results.”  During this same discussion, it was claimed that criticising the trial was effectively, by extension, questioning “the very sovereignty of the country” – a ludicrous statement aimed at silencing opposition to the trial within Bangladesh.

The Manchester Evening News published an article about the family’s concerns that Ghulam Azam will not receive a fair trial in Bangladesh.

A Toronto-based human rights group, Bangladesh Watch, has criticised the actions of the Bangladesh government and condemned them as being politically motivated. It has called for an end to the harassment of political opponents of the Awami League government.

Pakistan Today, a prominent daily newspaper, published an article yesterday condemning the arrest of Ghulam Azam, saying “Keeping Prof Azam’s clean political and social life in view and analysing his contribution to the prosperity and development of Bangladesh, it is needed that such a respectable and seasoned politician should be released.”

It has also emerged that the UN Commission on Human Rights had written to the Bangladeshi government for an explanation of the legal basis of the arrest and detention of six opposition leaders [from BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami]. Bangladesh have yet to respond to this demand.

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