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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 181st session
(Geneva, 10 October 2007)

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 who was assassinated in January 2005, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/181/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 180th session (May 2007),

Taking account of the communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs, conveyed by the Secretary of the Parliament of Bangladesh on 8 October 2007, in addition to communications from Mr. Kibria's family of 16 August and 4 October 2007,

Recalling that the investigation into the grenade attack of 27 January 2006, which took Mr. Kibria's life, was closed in April 2006 and applications made by Mr. Kibria's family for further investigations were rejected; that the investigation was reopened in March 2007 on the ground that additional and significant information had emerged suggesting the involvement of other persons who had yet to be investigated,

Considering that this information was confirmed in the communication from the Home Ministry, which provided the following details: intelligence operatives on several occasions voiced suspicion that Islamist militants might have links to some of the explosions that took place in Bangladesh and that, as a result, three suspected Islamist militants of the fundamentalist group Horkatul Jihad were arrested on 19 November 2006; from their confessional statements, the investigators learnt that they had collected several grenades to eliminate Awami League leaders; further investigations were started on 26 February 2007 owing to new leads that had emerged; on 6 May 2007, the investigation officer was changed and ASP M. Rafiqul Islam of the Central Investigation Department (CID) took over; a team comprising senior officials of the Rapid Action Battalion, CID, National Security Intelligence, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence and District Police was formed to coordinate the further investigation; the name and whereabouts of three absconding suspects were collected and a full, effective and thorough investigation was conducted to bring to book both the perpetrators and the instigators of this crime,

Considering further that, according to the Home Ministry, four of the arrested suspects, namely Mohammad Jamir Ali, Abedin Momin, Tajul Islam and Shahed Ali, gave confessional statements while the main accused Abdul Qayyum, Vice-President of district Bangladesh National Party (BNP), declined to give any statement; recalling in this respect the following information already on file: (i) on 16 April 2005, when the police report was being heard by the magistrate, the police refused Mr. Qayyum's request to make a voluntary confession under Article 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before the magistrate in the absence of any police officers; the magistrate had passed an order to allow him to make such a statement, but the order was then reportedly crossed out by someone and Mr. Qayyum did not make a confessional statement; (ii) on 26 January 2006, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh heard writ petition No. 3201 of 2005 in which the four suspects who had given confessional statements  applied to be allowed to retract their statements as they had been obtained under torture; the High Court found no reason "not to give the accused a chance to retract their confessions" and directed the lower court to allow them "to file application before the trial court for retraction of their confessions",

Noting lastly that, according to information provided earlier and confirmed by the Home Ministry, the previous government formally requested Interpol, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scotland Yard to join the local investigation into the grenade attack and that one FBI agent travelled to Bangladesh, visited the crime scene and passed on suggestions to the investigating officer,

  1. Thanks the Home Ministry and the parliamentary authorities for their cooperation and the information provided;

  2. Reaffirms that States have the duty to dispense justice and to identify, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of criminal acts and must therefore diligently conduct thorough investigations to this end;

  3. Is pleased to notethat the authorities are committed to carrying out such an investigation, even though it regrets that no tangible results have been achieved so far;

  4. Would be grateful in this respect for information regarding the procedural situation of the arrested suspects, with special reference to the retraction of the confessional statements made by four of them and any action taken to allow Mr. Qayyum to make a voluntary confession under Article 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code; is confident that the authorities will wish to make sure that they do not maintain in custody individuals who may not be linked to the attack;

  5. Would also appreciate information as to any steps the present Government may have taken to follow up on the earlier invitation extended to Interpol and other agencies and to associate foreign investigators with the local investigation;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to invite the competent authorities to provide this information; Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 118th Assembly of the IPU (Cape Town, April 2008).
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