My statement in response to the International Crimes Tribunal decision today (17 April) to initiate contempt proceedings
I am very disappointed by today's tribunal decision to initiate contempt proceedings against me relating to three articles I have written on my blog, Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal.
The blog contains information and analysis on the proceeding of the International Crimes Tribunal taking place in Bangladesh.
One of the articles in question was published on my blog in 2011, two and half years ago, and the other two were written in early 2013, over one year ago (here and here) - but proceedings are being initiated now. Why?
As we explained to the court, any criticisms of the tribunal contained in these articles were 'fair criticism' and permitted under Bangladesh law; they were accurate, referenced other published materials and legal decisions, and were made in sober and restrained language. (see here and here)
The applicant who brought this matter to the attention of the tribunal nowhere stated in his application what inaccuracies he claims I have been made in these articles, and has simply made wide and general allegations. The court in its order today has also not identified which particular parts of the articles they consider to be 'prima facie' in contempt.
I will be vigorously contesting the claim by the tribunal that these articles are in contempt of court - though without any specificity to the allegations, defending oneself is difficult.
I am also very concerned that I will have no right to appeal against any conviction for contempt, as the International Crimes Tribunal does not provide any right to appeal in such cases. This is a breach of ordinary standards of justice, where a right of appeal is required.
To see full written order made available on 23 April, see here
Please also see:
Explanation to tribunal
Further response to tribunal