Saturday, January 17, 2015

50 signature statement proceedings

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 has issued a number of orders relating to a statement given by 49 Bangladeshis (it was originally 50, but one person removed her name, most of whom live in Bangladesh) which commented on a judgement given earlier by the tribunal involving contempt of court. 

Most recently the Tribunal has asked the 49 people "to explain the contents of the ‘statement’ they allegedly made and their conduct."

The sequence of events and the links to the orders involving 'the statement' are set out below

1. On 2nd December, the International Crimes Tribunal published its judgement on the contempt proceedings involving three articles on the blog.
      - To see an analysis of this judgement, click here 
      - Statement by English Pen  
      - Statement by Reporters without Borders  
      - Statement by HRW, Amnesty International, International Commission or Jurists           
      - Statement by South Asian journalists, writers, historians and activists from South Asia
2. On 19 December, a statement was issued by 50 Bangladeshis.
3. On 23 December, the New York Times published an editorial
4. On 28 December, the ICT issued a suo moto order in which it (a) criticized the New York Times editorial and (b) stated that it needed to know whether the statement by the 50 Bangladeshis (which was reported in Prothom Alo was issued 'in the interest of public' and the 'basis of which analysis the signatories have made such statement' . It asked Prothom Alo to provide it a copy of the full statement.
5. On 31 December, after Prothom Alo provided details of the statement and those who had put their names to it, the Tribunal passed another order 'for the purpose of effective disposal of the matter' in which it asked for the addresses of those named.
6. On 14 December, after details of the addresses were provided, the tribunal passed a further order asking these people "to explain the contents of the ‘statement’ they allegedly made and their conduct."  
The order stated, 'The way the makers to the ‘statement’ have expressed their concern on the matter arising out of the order convicting David Bergman for the offence of contempt prima facie appears to have tended to belittle the authority and institutional dignity of the Tribunal in the mind of public which goes against ‘public interest’.' 
It went on to state that on or before 27 January 2015, these people must 'appear in person or though engaged counsel' to provide their explanation.

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