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Us talks about democracy but shelters killers: PM

Published : 28 Dec 2021 10:43 PM | Updated : 29 Dec 2021 02:19 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the US talks about democracy, justice and human rights but shelters the convicted killers and criminals.

She said, “We urged several times the US government to send back the fugitive convicted killers of Bangabandhu and his family members, but no president paid any heed to our call.” 

The prime minister was speaking at a function organised to unveil the covers of a research-based Mujib memorial book “Bangabandhu and the Judiciary” and a Mujib Borsho souvenir “Nyay Kontho” (Voice of Justice) published by the Bangladesh Supreme Court.

 “We know the pain of getting no justice as we are the victims of it. You (judges) will have to ensure justice. I will give whatever is required to ensure it as long as I am in power,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also said, “Some fugitive killers of Bangabandhu and my other relatives have taking shelter in Canada and the US.”

She wondered, “How do these countries, which always talk about democracy, justice, human rights and voting rights, give shelter to the killers for years?”

Recalling the sacrifice of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the prime minister said, “Bangabandhu dedicated his whole life for the sake of the people of this country.”

 “My father had to go to jail several times and he went through a lot of sufferings for the rights of the people and freedom of the country,” she said.

BSS adds: Cases filed against Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and their verdicts alongside the laws enacted by Bangabandhu government were incorporated in the book "Bangabandhu and the Judiciary".

A brief biography of Bangabandhu and his measures taken for the development of judiciary were also included in the book which was published both in English and Bangla.

Joining virtually the programme held on the Bangladesh Supreme Court premises from her official Ganabhaban residence, the prime minister said getting justice is the rights of the people.

"None would have to shed tears like me losing the father and mother. So, we want to make sure that people will get justice," she said.

Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq spoke on the occasion while the Appellate Division Justice and editor of the book and the souvenir Md. Nuruzzaman gave the welcome address.

An audio-video documentary on the book and the souvenir was screened on the occasion.

At the outset of the programme, a one-minute silence was observed to pay respect to the memory of August 15, 1975 and Liberation War martyrs.

The prime minister greeted all concerned involved in publishing the book "Bangabandhu and the Judiciary" and a Mujib Borsho souvenir "Nyay Kontho" (Voice of Justice).

Terming August 15, 1975 as the darkest part of the nation, Sheikh Hasina said the killers not only killed the then President (Bangabandhu) of the country, but also most of his family members.

She added that the Karbala incident even didn't witness such killings of women and children inhumanly.

Military dictator Ziaur Rahman, who was the main mastermind behind the killings and passed an indemnity ordinance to stop trial of the heinous killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said.

The prime minister said that the trial of the killings would not have taken place had the Awami League not come to power.

She thanked the judges for cancelling the indemnity ordinance paving the way to hold trial in the case, saying that several killers had already hanged to death following the verdict of the trial while few convicted killers have taken shelters in various countries -- Rashed in the USA and Noor in Canada.

The prime minister said that the USA is always talking about democracy and human rights but it has yet to hand over killer Rashed to Bangladesh despite it having appealed before each of the American government to this end.

The prime minister said, "The biggest thing is that America always talks about human rights, justice, democracy, voting franchise, but they have given shelter to the convicted killer Rashed who violated our human rights and justice."

She added, "After assuming office, I have repeatedly requested each of the American government to send back the fugitive killer."

The Prime Minister questioned how your (American) judiciary gave shelter to a killer, Rashed, who was the commanding officer of carrying out a massacre in number house 32.

"How America, despite being the largest democratic country, can give shelter to the killer? What is the reason behind it, I don't know," she continued.

Noting that Canada is giving shelter to the convicted killer Noor, "It is a matter of the biggest surprise that we have to hear about democracy and the rule of law (who are giving shelter to the killers."

Sheikh Hasina added, "Now another responsibility has been left (after holding the trial in the Bangabandhu killing case) which is to reveal the conspiracy. There is no doubt that this will come to light."

Highlighting various measures taken for establishing an independent judiciary, she said, "We have ensured an independent judiciary after coming to power as my father (Bangabandhu) envisioned it."

The prime minister said that her government did not interfere in any activities of the judiciary likewise other governments referring to use of false certificates and discussion on who would get what verdict by keeping a hand on the shoulder of a Chhatra Dal man.

"Many such heinous acts had taken place in Bangladesh," she said.

The prime minister said they have passed the Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, 2009 to make the judiciary separate, adding that her government has also made the judiciary independent economically after coming to power in 1996.

"We have to maintain pace with the world. We want the country and its wings to move forward with due dignity. We have been taking measures in such a way," she added.

The prime minister said they had established a training institute for enhancing the efficiency of the judges alongside sending them abroad for training.

She said her government has formed legal aid committees to ensure justice is obtained free of cost by the rural people.

The prime minister said her government has first given appointment of female justice in the Supreme Court.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call upon the authorities concerned to translate the court verdicts into Bangla not only in the higher courts but also in the courts across the country to make those understandable to the commoners.

The prime minister said many became used to writing verdicts in English because of a long-time practice and that is why it should not be logical to pressurize them to write judgments in Bangla, but in this case, a separate wing for translating verdicts both in Bangla and English can be set up.

She stressed the need for imparting training of translators to easily understand the judicial words and terms which are not used in general.

The prime minister mentioned that Bangladesh has now become a developing country as the democratic process has been prevailing since 2009 to 2021, saying, "We have to face many hurdles to reach this position. They (evil forces) have tried to create unrest by carrying out arson attacks taking Hefajat in front."

She said that Bangladesh has to march ahead further towards building a prosperous and developed country free from hunger and poverty as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.

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