5th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice

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Liberation Wae Museum
LIBERATION WAR MUSEUM
5 Segun Bagicha, Dhaka – 1000, Bangladesh
Institutional Member of AAM
Founder Member of International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
Phone : 88 02 955 9091, Fax : 88 02 955 9092, e-mail : mukti.jadughar@gmail.com
website : http://www.liberationwarmuseumbd.org
Call for Papers
for

5th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice
(19 May- 21 May 2017, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
organized by
Liberation War Museum
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dear all,
Liberation War Museum (LWM) is going to organize the 5th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice in May 2017. In this regard, LWM invites scholarly articles from the academicians, researchers, jurists, rights activists, artists and persons associated with the cause of justice for international crimes. We opt to have a parallel event for the poster presentations to encourage the young student and researchers The aim of the conference is to provide both empirical and theoretical insights into the changing nature of international criminal law and international humanitarian law worldwide and to further the efforts for both practitioners and academics the challenges to develop the existing criminal justice system and remedies in the post conflict scenario. The main emphasis for acceptance at this event is based on participants presenting papers which apply to the main themes of the conference.

Overview:

The birth of Bangladesh, an independent state of the Bengali nation resulted from the nine month long war of liberation in 1971. The brutality of annihilation 3 million people, displacement of 10 million citizens and wide-spread torture, rape and destruction resulted in the genocide of Bangladesh which has become a part of world history, a classic instance of a fact of common knowledge.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary March 22, 2016
Founder Trustee: Dr. Sarwar Ali, Aly Zaker, Rabiul Husain, Ziauddin Tariq Ali, Sara Zaker, Asaduzzaman Noor, Mofidul Hoque, Akku Chowdhury
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Immediately after independence, the government of Bangladesh undertook measures to try the war criminals and adopted International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 in the parliament. This was a landmark legal document to try perpetrators of genocide adopted at a time of global inertia to promote justice.  But after assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975, these initiatives were suspended and local collaborators and religious fundamentalist forces became part of the ruling coterie and imposed impunity on the nation for long period. The nation made a historic turn around in 2008 national election when voters overwhelmingly endorsed the demand for the trial of war criminals of 1971. In March 2010, 40 years after the genocide, newly elected government established domestic tribunal to adjudicate cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 1971.

The Tribunal (ICT BD) in two phases has entertained cases of the local collaborators for the charges like genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity for committing the crimes like murder, rape, arson, looting, mass killing, torture etc during 1971. So far this Tribunal [ICT – 1 (16 Cases) & ICT – 2 (11 Cases)] has entertained 27 cases, and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh dealt with 7 cases of the ICT BD.

The end of impunity and the process in Bangladesh has important national and global significance. International Crimes Tribunal- Bangladesh has widespread national support but need for outreach to highlight its experiences and learn from others. Since its inception, it has been trying to expand knowledge of and links with other countries with domestic or mixed tribunals as well as International Criminal Court.

The conference aims to link the national justice process with the international community. It is expected that the conference will throw light on these pertinent issues, but not limited to:

  • 1.      Justice for International Crimes: Global and National Context

The justice process for the international crimes has provided rich experience for global community both in terms of international and national tribunals. The trial process also raises many pertinent questions regarding the significance of transitional justice, the issue of sexual violence, Dealing with the Past and prevention of genocide etc. The truth telling mechanisms like Truth Commission were powerful at lifting the veil of silence and denial that pervaded over state abuses.

The trial has also raised issues like victim’s support, demoralization, education, healing etc and guarantee of non-recurrence. The experience of global community and national reality will be addressed in the panel.

  • 2.      Domestic Tribunals for International Crime: Comparative Study

International crimes trials at the domestic courts have become more frequent and that provided rich experiences in terms of its strength and weakness. Bangladesh along with Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile and Colombia are key actors in the prosecution of state crimes. Cambodia has a hybrid process composed of national and international judges and prosecutors in the ECCC, which sits in the national court system, making it fundamentally different from other experiences of international criminal tribunals. The emergence of such national tribunals has great significance for post – conflict development. Since the 4th conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice, some steps have been taken towards building a network and to chart future cooperation.

  • 3.      Recognition, Restitution, Rehabilitation of the Victims of Sexual Violence: Asian Story

The crime of sexual violence relates with rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Rape as weapon of war demoralizes and destabilizes the community and the ties between the victims and the society. Its widespread use is a clear indicator of the intention to commit genocide since not only does it destroy the social group in physical terms, it also brings about the actual destruction of the social fabric. How the victims nations are addressing the issue has relevance for Bangladesh.

The process of recognition and rehabilitations of the Beerangona or victims of sexual violence started after the liberation of Bangladesh at the initiative of Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Later on, after the establishment of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT-BD), in the case of Chief Prosecutor vs. Syed Md. Qaiser [ICT-BD, Tribunal 2; Case no. 04 f 2013] the Tribunal recommended that the victims of wartime rape should be honoured as freedom fighters and their suffering must be recognized. In the same judgment, the Tribunal observed that concerned Ministry, social and non-government organisations should formulate effective program aiming to honour them, address their and make proper arrangement of their financial compensation.

  • 4.      Archiving Tribunal Documents: Challenges and Prospects

Archiving Tribunal documents are important for establishment of criminal justice, develop comprehensive view of what happened, as well as why it happened. The future generations should objectively make conclusions about what really happened and archives has a role to play.

The International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh has been facing quite a challenge in archiving the judgments and other relevant documents due to financial difficulties, proper facilities for archiving and lack of skilled manpower. Security risks also needs to be addressed.

  • 5.      End of Impunity of Past International Crimes: Way Forward

It is never permissible to give amnesty for those accused international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Political powers often attempt to advance the argument that trial of the perpetrators is neither necessary nor politically feasible.

Bangladesh has been claiming for apology and compensations from Pakistan since its independence. The trial of 195 Pakistani Prisoners of War accused of genocidal crimes could not be held but should be held.

Despite the efforts to end impunity many genocides have been forgotten and remain unrecognized with perpetrators enjoying impunity. Mapping of global genocide and end of impunity are essential to establish justice and truth. Recognition of genocide in Bangladesh calls for international recognition.

Important Dates:

Abstract submissions:
(Both for papers and posters)

20 March, 2017

Notification of Abstract Acceptance:

25 March, 2017

Conference Registration Deadline:

20 April, 2017

Full Paper Submission:
(Both for papers and posters)

20 April, 2017

Conference Dates:

19 May- 21 May, 2017

Please check the conference website for further information, http://www.liberationwarmuseumbd.org

Participation Requirement:

Professionals and experts from both national and outside Bangladesh are requested to submit their research works. Only students from Bangladesh will be allowed to present posters. A maximum number of three students will be considered for each poster. In that case, the rules for paper presenters will be required for the poster presenters too.

Submission Process:

A 500 words abstract that must not exceed 1 page of A4 (including title, data, figures and references).It is required to include a list of five keywords that describe the research at the top of the abstract to assist the reviewing process incited in the abstract. A maximum number of two authors will be allowed to submit the abstract. Selected participants will be invited to present their papers in the conference.

Authors must include the following information on the abstract which must not exceed 150 words:

(1)   name(s) of author(s); (2) affiliation(s); and (3) email address.

Deadline:

Authors are requested to submit their abstracts in electronic form (in word format) as an email attachment to csgj.bangladesh@gmail.com by no later than 15 March, 2017. The subject of the e-mail should be as follows: Name of the author, title of the manuscript.

Publication Opportunity:

 

All abstracts will be published in the conference proceeding. Selected papers will be published as a conference volume.

There is no presentation fee for those who are selected to deliver papers and presenting their posters. Travel support and local hospitality are available for selected foreign participants.

Regards,

 

Mofidul Hoque
Trustee, Liberation War Museum
Director, Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice
e-mail: mukti.jadughar@gmail.com
csgj.bangladesh@gmail.com

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