Persecution or Justice?

A trial in Bangladesh, which brought death sentences for 152 border guards accused of murder and arson in a mutiny in 2009, failed to meet international law standards, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Wednesday.

Citing allegations that many of the defendants in the mass trial, which ended on Tuesday, had been abused and tortured while in jail, she also called for a full independent investigation into how the accused were treated.

“The crimes committed during the mutiny were utterly reprehensible and heinous,” the former South African high court and International Criminal Court judge said in a statement.

But she added: “Justice will not be achieved by conducting mass trials of hundreds of individuals, torturing suspects in custody and sentencing them to death after trials that failed to meet the most fundamental standards of due process.”

A total of 171 of the mutineers, whose main complaint was that their regular army commanders were better paid and housed, were acquitted, while the remainder of the some 4,000 defendants were given jail terms of up to 10 years and fines.

At the same time, she voiced concern about the conduct of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) set up by the Bangladesh government in 2010 to try people accused of atrocities during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

The ICT, she said, should be an important means to tackle impunity for those atrocities and provide redress to the victims, but its proceedings had to meet the highest standards if they were to enforce the rule of law.

The Tribunal has sentenced 7 people to death, but Pillay called on the Bangladesh government not to carry out the sentences due to concerns about the fairness of the trials.

Source: http://www.euronews.com/newswires/2197292-un-rights-chief-says-bangladesh-trials-unfair/

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Lebanon seeks help to cope with Syrian influx

Here is a small country, as you can see, marked red in world map. Lebanon! it has taken in by far the largest number of Syrian refugees: Nearly 800,000 are officially registered with the United Nations, and many more remain uncounted. They make up nearly 25 percent of the population.

On Friday, the UN’s refugee agency rightly appealed to European and other states to grant asylum to more Syrians, hundreds of whom have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

And in comments made by some readers, one particularly strike ‘Ask Saudi, Qata(r) and Turkey for funds’

Source; http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/refugee-influx-strains-lebanon-resources-20131018121452780803.html

Observations: the European countries should actually feel ashamed as they are first to preach morality and last to apply it. Shouldn’t there be a system in place to ensure that all resourceful countries comply with the obligations of Refugee Convention in strict sense of term rather than leaving the matter to be decided as per their whims and fancies. The misery of displacement is more severe, long lasting and demand more timely and effective response.