The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in power since the beginning of the year, has promised to hold the trials as soon as possible. —AFP/File photo

DHAKA The United Nations said on Wednesday that some of its top war crimes experts would advise Bangladesh on how to try those accused of murder and rape during its 1971 'liberation struggle.'

The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in power since the beginning of the year, has promised to hold the trials as soon as possible.

'We have suggested the names of some top international experts who have experience in how war crimes tribunals operate across the globe,' head of the United Nations in Bangladesh, Renata Lok Dessallien, told AFP.

'This is the first time Bangladesh is conducting war crimes tribunals and it is important it understands how other countries have held them. There are some countries where mistakes were made and we don't want Bangladesh to repeat those mistakes.'

She said the UN would also look into Bangladeshi law to see whether it complied with international war crimes legislation.

Law Minister Shafiq Ahmed welcomed the move, and said the government was expected to announce on Thursday that it would begin the investigation into the alleged crimes.

'The UN will advise us so that we don't make any mistakes and so that the process is transparent and does not create any questions,' Ahmed said.

The UN's move was also welcomed by Amnesty International.

'I hope that the initiative to seek UN assistance to address the 1971 war crimes marks the beginning of a process to heal the wounds of this war in the national psyche,' said Irene Khan, the group's secretary-general who is of Bangladeshi origin.

The alleged war criminals committed murder, rape and arson.

The government said three million people were killed during the war.

A private group which has investigated the conflict has blamed 1,775 people for the atrocities.



Security policy unveiled
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Security policy unveiled

PAKISTAN’S freshly unveiled National Security Policy has broadened the traditional concept and included economic...
Bold decisions
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Bold decisions

IT is a double blow within a matter of days. The Islamabad High Court’s order last week to demolish a navy golf...
17 Jan, 2022

Rohingya camp blaze

A HUGE blaze in a refugee camp housing members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh last week has left up to ...
16 Jan, 2022

Omicron threat

AS Pakistan grapples with the fifth coronavirus wave fuelled by the Omicron variant, the state must take timely...
Updated 16 Jan, 2022

Grim picture

There is much the govt can do to create an environment free of repression and coercion so that democracy is strengthened.
16 Jan, 2022

Larkana jail unrest

THAT Larkana Central Prison authorities had to resort to the excuse of “cleaning the jail” to shift 13 dangerous...