اوقفوا مضايقة محاموا الدفاع في قضية مجرمي الحرب : منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش

18 Oct

اوقفوا مضايقة محاموا الدفاع في قضية مجرمي الحرب : منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش

إن عملية المداهمة،التي قامت بها الشرطة المدججة بالسلاح دون تقديم أي مبرر،على مكتب ابرز محامي فريق الدفاع في محاكمات جرائم الحرب التي تجري في بنغلاديش حاليا هو إهانة خطيرة وانتهاك صريح  للمبادئ الأساسية للمحاكمات العادلة. وينبغي على حكومة بنجلاديش أن تتخذ إجراءات عقابية ضد أولئك الذين أمروا بمداهمة مكتب محامي الدفاع البارز والمعروف محمد تاج الإسلام واتخاذ خطوات كفيلة لضمان أمن المحامين الذين  لا تخضع للتهديد والترهيب.

وقال السيد براد آدامز، مدير قسم آسيا في منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش. “إن عملية المداهمة التي قام بها  ضباط المخابرات المدججين بالسلاح على مكتب محامي الدفاع دون أمر قضائي وبدون أي سبب واضح يمثل منعطفا خطيرا جدا في عملية معيبة اصلا مضيفا “إن حكومة بنجلاديش عليها التسرع إلى إدانة هذا العمل الشنيع علنا ​​أو المخاطرة بالظهور بأنها هي المسؤولة عن هذا الانتهاك الصارخ لمعايير المحاكمة العادلة.”

ففي 9 اكتوبر من هذا العام وعند الساعة 4:30 عصرا، قام عدد من ضباط الشرطة يبلغ عددهم حوالي  10-12  ضابطا والذين عرفوا أنفسهم بأنهم ضباط من قسم التحريات تجمعوا خارج مكتب المحامي تاج الاسلام في دكا . وعندما سئلوا عن هدف وجودهم في هذا المكان من قبل المحامين في المكتب، نفى الضباط أن يكون لهم اي هدف من وجودهم في بجوار المكتب ، ولكن بعد ذلك بفترة قصيرة دخل الضباط المكتب قائلين بانهم يريدون تفتيش المكان. وعند طلب المحامين الذين كانوا حاضرين في المكتب بإظهار مذكرة التفتيش،لم يستطع الضباط ان يظهروا او يقدموا اي مذكرة تفتيش صادرة من المحكمة  ثم بدأ الضباط باستجواب الموظفين والعملاء الذين كانوا موجودين في المكتب حيث دونوا اسماءهم وعناوينهم. ومن ثم غادرت الشرطة الموقع من تلقاء نفسها بعد حوالي عشرين دقيقة .

وفي 10 أكتوبر طلب محامي الدفاع من المحكمتين الجنائيتين الاولى والثانية بالتحقيق في عملية المداهمة حيث امر القاضي رئيس المحكمة الجنائية الثانية محامي الدفاع بتقديم طلب خطي وتقديم شكوى وتسجيل مذكرة عامة عند الشرطة. إلا أن القاضي الذي يرأس المحكمة الاولى قال عند عرض الأمر عليه إن هذا الأمر كان وراء سلطته.

وقد تعرض المحامون الذين يمثلون المتهمين أمام محكمة الجنايات الدولية في وقت سابق إلى مضايقات من قبل المسؤولين في الدولة مهددين باعتقالهم .

المحامي عبد الرزاق رئيس فريق الدفاع وهو محام بارز والذي ترأس العديد من محاكمات جرائم الحرب  تعرض للمضايقة وتعرض للتهديد مع توجيه اتهامات جنائية له، وتفيد التقاريربأن هناك مراقبة مستمرة على منزله ومكتبه. من قبل اجهزة الأمن بأفرعها،حيث يشتكي محاموا الدفاع في اغلب الاحيان بأنهم غالبا مايكونون غير قادرين على جلب الشهود إلى المحكمة بسبب التهديدات والتخويف الذي يتعرض له الشهود من قبل اشخاص يعملون لصالح الادعاء العام .

إن القانون الدولي والقانون البنجلاديشي على حد سواء يعترف ويدرك أهمية الحاجة إلى القدرة على العمل بحرية وحمايتها دون ترهيب، سواء من جانب الادعاء العام أوالدفاع. وفي حالة عدم وجود مثل هذه الحماية، فإن المتهم يكون غير قادر على التواصل بحرية مع محاميه، والمحامي ايضا يكون غير قادر على تمثيل موكليه بشكل كامل،وبالشكل المطلوب.  وهذه النوعية من العلاقات بين المحامي وموكله يتم تقويضه من قبل هذا النوع من المضايقات والترهيب.

إن منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش توجه دعوتها المتكررة لإنشاء مكتب للدفاع، على غرار تلك التي أنشئت في المحاكم الجنائية الدولية. ومن مهام مكتب الدفاع المساعدة على ضمان التعرف على المبدأ الأساسي لـ “تكافؤ الفرص القانونية” لكلا الجانبين، وبالتالي سيقطع شوطا طويلا في تحقيق العدالة في الإجراءات المتبعة في محكمة الجنايات الدولية. ومكاتب الدفاع لا يمكن لأحد الوصول إليها إلا للأعضاء المصرح بهم من فريق الدفاع، وتعتبر جميع الأدلة واوراق العمل في تلك المكاتب محمية. وإنشاء مكتب للدفاع، تعمل بالشكل الصحيح ومدعومه دعما كاملا، سوف تعطي إشارة واضحة بأن فريق الدفاع يتم تعاملهم معاملة متساوية والتي لا غنى عنها في إجراء محاكمة عادلة

إن محكمة الجنايات الدولية هذه تم انشاؤها،والتي كانت منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش دعمتها لعقدواجراء محاكمات عادلة ، ولتوفير العدالة لضحايا الفظائع والجرائم التي ارتكبت خلال حرب الاستقلال عن باكستان عام 1971 . منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش ومع ذلك، أعربت عن قلقها إزاء بعض الجوانب القانونية لمحكمة الجنايات الدولية، ودعت الحكومة لتصحيح هذه العيوب. وتشمل هذه:

  1. تعديل تعريفات ومصطلحات الجرائم وتحديدها بحيث نستطيع التعبير بشكل أكثر وضوحا للتعاريف والمصطلحات ذات الصلة لجرائم الحرب وجرائم ضد الإنسانية، والإبادة الجماعية كما تكون في إطار القانون المحلي أو الدولي وقت ارتكاب الجريمة.
  2. تعديل القانون للسماح بالطعن في قانون المحكمة وتشكيل الهيئة وتعيين أعضائها.
  3. تعديل القوانون والقواعد للتأكد من أن الإجراءات القانونية وحقوق المتهم تتفق مع الالتزامات القانونية الدولية ولبنغلاديش .
  4. إلغاء المادة 47 (أ) من الدستور البنجلاديشي حتى يتسنى للمتهم الحصول على كامل حقوقه الدستورية، بما في ذلك الحق في إنفاذ حقوقهم الأساسية بموجب المادة 44 من الدستور، والذي يحمي الحقوق الأساسية للفرد.
  5. إعداد خطة مدروسة وممنهجة وفعالة لحماية الضحايا والشهود قبل وقت كاف من المحاكمة،للوقوف على  الاحتياجات اللازمة للحماية والدعم قبل وأثناء وبعد المحاكمة.

وقال براد ادامز.”إن جميع هذه تتحقق وقتها عندما يتم التعامل مع كلا الجانبين على قدم المساواة، وعندما يتم التقيد التام بالاحترافية وقوانين السلوك المهني، عندها فقط يستطيع اهالي الضحايا والعامة من الناس أن يكونوا على ثقة بأن العدالة التي سعو للحصول عليها من فترة طويلة استندت على الشرعية التامة وأن إجراءات المحاكمة كانت حرة ونزيهة .

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/10/17/bangladesh-end-harassment-war-crimes-defense-counsel

Bangladesh: End Harassment of War Crimes Defense Counsel | Human Rights Watch

(New York) – The raid, without any justification being given, by armed police on the offices of a prominent defense lawyer in the war crimes trials taking place in Bangladesh is a grave affront to the basic tenets of fair trials. The Bangladeshi government should take action against those who ordered the raid on the offices of defense counsel Mohammed Tajul Islam and take steps to ensure that lawyers are not subject to threats and intimidation.

“A raid by armed intelligence officers on the offices of defense lawyers without a warrant and for no discernible reason marks a very dangerous turn in an already flawed process,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Bangladeshi government needs to publicly condemn this action or risk the appearance of being responsible for this egregious violation of fair trial standards.”

On October 9 at around 4:30 pm, 10-12 police officers who identified themselves as members of the Detective Branch of the police gathered outside the Dhaka law offices of Islam. When questioned about their presence by lawyers in the office, they denied any interest in the chambers, but afterwards entered the offices saying that they wanted to search the premises. Lawyers present at the office demanded that they produce a search warrant, but the officers could not produce one. The officers then started questioning staff and clients who were present in the offices, taking down names and addresses. The police left of their own accord after about twenty minutes.

On October 10 defense counsel requested both the first and the second trial chambers of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) to investigate the raid. The second chamber directed them to file a written application and to make a General Diary complaint to the police. The presiding judge in the first trial chamber said the matter was beyond his authority.

Lawyers representing the accused before the ICT have previously reported being harassed by state officials and threatened with arrests.

Abdur Razzaq, a senior lawyer who heads many of the war crimes trials, has been harassed, threatened with criminal charges, and reports ongoing surveillance of his home and office. Defense lawyers allege that they are often unable to bring witnesses to court because of threats and intimidation of witnesses by persons working for the prosecution.

Both Bangladeshi and international law recognize the importance of the need to protect the ability to work freely without intimidation, whether on the prosecution side or the defense. In the absence of such protection, the accused are unable to freely communicate with their counsel, and counsel are then unable to represent their clients fully. The related concept of lawyer-client privilege is similarly undermined by this kind of harassment and intimidation.

Human Rights Watch repeated its call for the establishment of a Defense Office, similar to those established in international criminal tribunals. A Defense Office would help ensure that the core principle of “equality of arms” for both sides is recognized, and thus would go a long way to establishing fairness in ICT proceedings. Defense Offices are accessible only to authorized members of the defense teams, and all evidence and work product in those offices are considered privileged and protected. The creation of a Defense Office, properly staffed and supported, would give a clear signal that the defense teams should be treated as an equal and indispensable of a fair trial process.

The ICT, which Human Rights Watch has long supported so long as fair trials are carried out, was set up to provide justice for victims of atrocities during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Human Rights Watch has however, expressed concern over certain aspects of the ICT Act, and has called on the government to rectify these flaws. These include:

  • Amending the definition of crimes to articulate more clearly the relevant definitions of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide as they existed under domestic or international law at the time of the offense;
  • Amending the act to allow challenges to the constitution of the tribunal and the appointment of its members;
  • Amending the act and rules to ensure that the due process and rights of the accused are consistent with Bangladesh’s international legal obligations;
  • Repealing Article 47(A) of the Bangladesh Constitution to allow the accused full protection of their constitutional rights, including the right to enforce their fundamental rights under Article 44, which protects fundamental rights; and
  • Creating an effective and well thought out victim and witness protection plan well ahead of the trials, to address protection and support needs before, during, and after proceedings.

“It is only when both sides are treated as equals, and when codes and laws of professional conduct are strictly adhered to, that victims of atrocities and the wider public can be confident that the justice they have sought for so long is based on a legitimate trial process,” said Adams.

http://www.abdurrazzaq.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125:meeting-of-the-members-of-the-supreme-court-bar-association-protesting-against-the-harassment-of-and-the-attempt-to-prevent-senior-advocate-mr-abdur-razzaq-barrister-at-law-from-discharging-his-professional-responsibilities&catid=35:latest-news

Meeting of the members of the Supreme Court Bar Association protesting against the harassment of and the attempt to prevent Senior Advocate, Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Barrister-at-law from discharging his professional responsibilities.

Meeting of the members of the Supreme Court Bar Association protesting against the harassment of and the attempt to prevent Senior Advocate, Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Barrister-at-law from discharging his professional responsibilities.

Location: Shamsul Huq Chowdhury Hall (South Hall), Supreme Court Bar Association Building

Date: 15th October 2012

A meeting was organized today Shamsul Huq Chowdhury Hall (South Hall), Supreme Court Bar Association Building to protest against the harassment of and the attempt to prevent Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Barrister-at-law, Senior Advocate from discharging his professional responsibilities. The meeting was presided by the senior most member of the Supreme Court Bar, Mr. Justice T H Khan and was conducted by Mr. Ruhul Quddus Kajol, Barrister-at-law.

The following lawyers spoke at the meeting:

  1. Mr. Justice T H Khan, Senior Advocate: ‘Barrister Razzaq is an intelligent lawyer of unquestionable integrity. There are only a handful of lawyers in the Supreme Court who are as competent and experienced as Barrister Razzaq. To place him under government surveillance is completely unacceptable. According to Article 33 of the Constitution, it is a fundamental right of a citizen to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. Mr. Razzaq has been engaged as a counsel in the International Crimes Tribunal, Dhaka. Nowadays whatever happens, it is being said that the purpose is to foil the war crimes trial. Even if there is a cyclone, it will be said that this is to foil the war crimes trial. If there is a bus or ferry accident or if there are incidents of violence in Universities and medical colleges, it is being said that the purpose is to foil the war crimes trial. An attempt is being made to exercise executive control the administration of justice in the manner done during the times of Hitler, Lenin and Mao Tse Tung. This is a matter of great concern.’
  2. Mr. Jamiruddin Sircar, Barrister-at-law, Senior Advocate, former Speaker: ‘It is a settled principle of law that none should be punished unheard. In the absence of the Rule of Law, democracy and the sovereignty of the people lose all meaning. Barrister Razzaq is a member of the Bar of the England and Wales. He is also a member of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar. He has conducted cases in London. He has also conducted cases of immense public importance in Bangladesh. To prevent him from discharging his professional responsibilities is contrary to the Rule of Law. To place him under the surveillance of the intelligence agencies is to obstruct the administration of justice.’
  3. Mr. Moudud Ahmed, Barrister-at-law, Senior Advocate, Former Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs: ‘Barrister Abdur Razzaq has established himself as a renowned Senior Advocate. His right to discharge his professional responsibilities is protected under the Constitution. We are not against the trial of war criminals. Barrister Abdur Razzaq is facilitating the process of establishment of justice by appearing in the International Crimes Tribunal. But unfortunately, here too, we see a fascist mindset. This is a serious attack against the Rule of Law. It is our duty to express our solidarity with Mr. Razzaq, irrespective of our political affiliations. Harassment of Mr. Razzaq is tantamount to harassment of the entire legal profession. We strongly protest against such fascist action of the Government. We demand that the government surveillance be lifted immediately, otherwise we will resist the same, irrespective of our political affiliations.
  4. Mr. Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Senior Advocate, Vice Chairman, Bangladesh Bar Council: There is no Rule of Law in Bangladesh. In a society which is governed by the Rule of law, there can never be any possibility of a lawyer being harassed for performing his professional duties. As lawyers, it is not our duty to condone the commission of any crimes but to help determine whether a person can he held responsible in law for the commission of a crime. We will be united in resisting any attempt to prevent us from discharging our professional responsibilities. The Government has destroyed the judiciary and is preventing lawyers from discharging their duties. A law has been enacted taking away all the powers of the Bar Council. There will be resistance to this new law across the country. Barrister Razzaq is appearing before the Tribunal as a lawyer, not to condone the commission of any crime, but to assist the court. Recently a raid was also conducted in the chambers of Advocate Tajul Islam by plain clothes policemen. Such actions are contrary to a fairness and transparency of the trial process and an attack on the Rule of law.’
  5. Mr. Rafiqul Islam Miah, Barrister-at-law, Senior Advocate: ‘The legal profession is a noble profession. Lawyers are officers of the Court. If a person is unable to engage a lawyer, it is the duty of the State to appoint a lawyer on his behalf. It is the duty of the Attorney General, who is the leader of the Bar, to ensure that Barrister Razzaq is not prevented from performing his professional duties. It is the duty of the Attorney General to take appropriate action against those seeking to prevent Barrister Abdur Razzaq from performing his professional duties. All communications between a lawyer and his client are ‘privileged’ – no one has the right to intercept such communications. The surveillance of the intelligence agencies is a clear violation of law. We call upon the Hon’ble Prime Minister and the Hon’ble Home Minister to ensure that lawyers are allowed to fearlessly discharge their professional duties. For such action is tantamount to obstructing the course of justice. All of us have to uphold the dignity of this profession. If Barrister Razzaq is harassed, we will set up a movement to resist such unlawful actions.’
  6. Mr. Zainul Abedin, Senior Advocate, President, Supreme Court Bar Association: ‘During the tenure of this government, no professional is being allowed to properly discharge his professional responsibilities. Journalists, the Anti Corruption Commission, Government officers, even Judges are being prevented from acting independently, As lawyers, we are members of an independent Bar, yet we are being prevented from acting independently. According to the Bar Council Order, to prevent a person from performing his duties independently is tantamount to misconduct. Barrister Abdur Razzaq is a Senior Advocate of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, yet he is being prevented from discharging his professional responsibilities. If such harassment continues, we will have to arrange programs across the country.’
  7. Mr. Mahbubuddun Ahmed Khokon, MP, Member and Chairman, Enrolment Committee, Bar Council: ‘To prevent Barrister Abdur Razzaq from performing his professional duties is an attack against democracy. We are not discussing politics here. Harassment of Barrister Abdur Razzaq is an attack on the Rule of Law and the administration of justice.’
  8. Mr. Saidur Rahman, Advocate, Former Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association: ‘Administration of justice is not possible without a lawyer. If Barrister Abdur Razzaq does not appear before the International Crimes Tribunal, some other lawyer will. Barrister Abdur Razzaq should not be harassed or disturbed in any manner. If this continues, lawyers will resist such action.’
  9. Mr. Afzal H Khan, Advocate, Supreme Court: ‘This is a matter of great concern. The entire country has been transformed into a jail. The words ‘patriotism’ and ‘corruption’ have received new definitions. The time has now come to make a serious protest and to resist such unlawful actions of the Government.’
  10. Mr. Munshi Ahsan Kabir, Barrister-at-law, Advocate, Supreme Court: ‘This is not a political program. Our only identity is that we are lawyers. Lawyers are priests in the temple of justice. Barrister Abdur Razzaq has conducted many cases of public importance, including the Public Safety Act Case and the ETV case. He is currently engaged as Chief Defence Counsel in as many as 10 cases pending before the International Crimes Tribunal, Dhaka. He is being harassed by intelligence agencies to prevent him from discharging his professional responsibilities.’
  11. Ms. Fahima Nasrin Munni, Advocate, Supreme Court: The entire Bangladesh has become a jail. What happened in Brazil in the 1970s is happening now in Bangladesh. Plain clothes policemen have placed Barrister Abdur Razzaq under surveillance. Extra judicial killings are on the rise. We await better days.’

Amongst others present at the meeting were former Attorney General AJ Mohammad Ali, Senior Advocate Mohammad Nazrul Islam, former Deputy Attorney General, Chowdhury Md,. Alal, Advocate Jashim Uddin Sarker, Advocate Moshiul Alam, Former Deputy Attorney General, Giasuddin Mithu, Former Assistant Attorney General, Farid Uddin Khan, Barrister Belayet Hossain and others.

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