Friday, December 17, 2010

A Statement of Principle

Parading the People's representative, broken by evident abuse, apprehending him without due process, ransacking his home and terrorizing his family, are not befitting the proper conduct of government. These actions are a disgrace to the nation and an insult to every Bangladeshi.
The timing of these deplorable actions is at best questionable. Whether by incompetence or malice, the authorities have chosen to transform the commemoration of a national day into a display of raw power, further polarizing a society already suffering from rifts.
Equally deplorable is the blatant politicization of the war crimes tribunal process. Loyal citizens are entitled to disagree about the value, need, or urgency of such exercise. However, when the evident purpose of the tribunal becomes the elimination of political opponents, the process looses its legitimacy at home and abroad and is reduced to becoming an excuse to justify the unchecked abuse of power.
Irrespective of support or opposition to the vocal stands of MP SQC, Bangladeshis of all political stripes are called upon to summon our elected government to take the following measures:
1. The release of MP SQC and all other persons arrested in anticipation of the war crimes tribunal until clear terms of reference for such tribunal are instituted, indictments are properly issued, and due process is followed for taking the accused into custody.
2. An immediate investigation and proper corrective and punitive measures into the conduct of law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of MP SQC and the ransacking of his residence.
3. The opening of a wide national dialogue into the modalities and terms of reference of the war crimes tribunal, in order to insure that this process will lead to justice, healing, and reconciliation, will aim to empower the victims of this dark chapter of our history, and will not become merely another chapter in the vindictive conduct of politics.