UK wants fair trials

A visiting Minister says human rights violators should be punished in a fair manner for their role in 1971

The United Kingdom wants to see human rights violators of 1971 punished through ‘fair judgments’, the country’s Senior Minister of State of Foreign Office, Sayeeda Hussain Warsi has said.

The British Minister of Pakistani origin made the statement when she met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban on Monday, said the PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Nazrul Islam.

Warsi was quoted as saying by Islam that the British government wanted to see the perpetrators punished for violating human rights during the war, but that should be done through fairness.

Islam said the Prime Minister mentioned that the trials of war crimes suspects were being conducted with a liberal approach.

Referring to the International Crimes Tribunals Act, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh’s law allows for appeals whereas the laws in other countries do not in such cases.

“It is there to ensure justice,” Hasina was quoted as telling Warsi.

The international Crimes Tribunal already delivered two verdicts.

Hasina and Warsi also discussed the course of next parliamentary elections in the country.

The Prime Minister mentioned that 5,500 elections and parliamentary by-polls were conducted under her administration without any questions.

She said the Election Commission is working independently while administration and law enforcers act under the commission during the elections.

The Prime minister expressed hope that the next general election would be free and fair.

Warsi praised Bangladesh’s efforts for socio-economic development.

The Prime Minister said it was possible because of the government’s timely and people-oriented initiatives.

Hasina said her government has ensured food and social security for the citizens.

She repeated her determination to properly conduct counter-terrorism activities and control militancy.

Warsi arrived in Dhaka on Monday on a three-day official visit.

Her arrival on Monday was marked by a general strike called by the Jamaat-e-Islami.

She is visiting the country at a time when a political impasse was going on over who will oversee the next general elections scheduled to be held by early 2014.

She is expected to meet the leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni apart from her other engagements in Sylhet and Dhaka.

Warsi, a Conservative leader, oversees Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia as a minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth

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