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Resolution adopted by consensus by the IPU Governing Council at its 179th session
(Geneva, 18 October 2006)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Shah Ams Kibria, a member of the National Parliament of Bangladesh killed in a grenade attack in January 2005, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/179/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 178th session (May 2006),

Taking account of a message from the Secretary of the Bangladesh Parliament of 17 July 2006, forwarding copies of the letters by the Speaker dated 5 July and 24 December 2005, together with the text of the oral statement he made at the 177th session of the Governing Council (October 2005),

Taking account of the information provided by one of the sources on 8 and 12 September and on 9 October 2006,

Considering the following evidence on file:

  • Mr. Shah Ams Kibria was killed on 27 January 2005 in a grenade attack during a political gathering; on 19 March 2005, 10 persons were charged in the murder case brought under the Criminal Code and eight were arrested, while two absconded; according to the charge sheet, the main accused, Mr. Abdul Quayum, had been assured by some powerful leaders that he would be nominated in the next elections if he succeeded in killing Mr. Kibria; Mr. Quayum affirmed that he was framed, tortured, and denied food and medical care; he was reportedly prevented by police from making a voluntary confession under Article 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

  • Upon the closure of the investigation in April 2005, the lawyer for the family of Mr. Kibria submitted an application for further investigation before the Tribunal at Sylhet, as the family considered the investigation to be incomplete, particularly since it had failed to identify the source of the explosives used in the attack, to track the funding for the attack, to examine important witnesses, and to identify the powerful political leaders who assured the main accused that he would be nominated for the election; the application was dismissed and appeals against that decision were likewise disallowed;

  • However, on 14 May 2006, the High Court Division Dhaka in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh heard a review application for setting aside the order by the trial court (Tribunal at Sylhet) refusing a prayer (application) for further investigation in the case and issued a ruling in which it called "upon the opposite party (the State) to show cause as to why the order dated 3 May 06 passed by the … Tribunal at Sylhet … rejecting the application … for further investigation should not be set aside …"; pending disposal of the ruling, the Court stayed all further proceedings; the State lodged an appeal against the ruling and proceedings have reportedly been stayed until November 2006;

  • On 26 January 2006, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh heard writ petition No. 3201 of 2005 in which four of the suspects (Shahed Ali, Joynal Abedin Momen, Zamri Ali and Tajul Islam) applied to be allowed to retract their confessional statements as they had been obtained under torture; the High Court found no reason "not to give the accused a chance to retract their confession" and directed the lower court to allow them "to file application before the trial court for retraction of their confessions".
Recalling that, while the Parliament of Bangladesh condemned Mr. Kibria's assassination and adopted a resolution to that effect, a debate on the murder was blocked by the parliamentary authorities and requests to have the case placed on the agenda of the Standing Committee on the Home Ministry were refused,

Bearing in mind that elections are due to be held in Bangladesh in January 2007 and that a caretaker government will be put in place upon the expiry of the present Government's tenure on 27 October 2006,

  1. Thanks the Secretary of the Parliament of Bangladesh for his communication; regrets nevertheless that the parliamentary authorities have provided no further information on this case;

  2. Recalls that States have a duty to dispense justice and that the authorities of Bangladesh must consequently conduct a thorough, independent and diligent investigation into Mr. Kibria's assassination and identify both the perpetrators and the instigators of this crime and bring them to justice;

  3. Notes with interest the ruling of the High Court Division Dhaka of the Supreme Court inviting the State to show cause as to why the investigation should not be reopened; and reaffirms in this respect that an investigation which has omitted to look into essential issues cannot serve the ends of justice;

  4. Reiterates its wish to ascertain whether, in line with the High Court ruling of 26 January 2006, the four aforesaid suspects have been allowed to file an application for retraction of their witness statements, and whether such retraction has indeed taken place;

  5. Trusts that the proceedings will resume without delay in November 2006 and will be pursued with the necessary diligence, and wishes to be kept informed of the progress made;

  6. Renews its decision to observe the relevant proceedings, and requests the Secretary General to take the necessary steps to this end and to convey this resolution to the competent authorities;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 116th Assembly (April-May 2007).
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