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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)

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/182/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 181st session (October 2007),

Taking into account the communication from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh of 7 April 2008 and the communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs of Bangladesh handed over to the Committee during the 118th IPU Assembly (April 2008),

Recalling that the investigation into the grenade attack of 27 January 2005, which took Mr. Kibria's life, was closed in April 2006 and applications made by Mr. Kibria's family for further investigation 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, and that in May 2007 a new investigating officer, ASP M. Rafiqul Islam of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), took over; that 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,

Considering that, according to the information provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police on duty at the time of the attack have since then been examined, the statement of a vital witness was recorded and three Islamist militants belonging to the Horkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji), who were already in jail in connection with other criminal proceedings and had confessed to collecting several grenades to eliminate Awami League leaders, were also shown arrested in this case; that the investigation has further brought to light the names and addresses of three more potential suspects, one of whom is believed to have thrown the grenades, but who have absconded,

Recalling that initially 10 suspects were arrested in this case, four of whom later applied to be allowed to retract their statements as they had been obtained under torture and were indeed allowed to do so by the High Court; noting that, according to media reports supplied by one of the sources, the 10 accused have demanded their unconditional release since no proof of their involvement in the murder has been found, and that their families have alleged that witnesses in the case received a monthly payment from the then government,

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

  2. Notes with interest the progress made in the investigation and hopes thatthe investigating authorities will soon release the findings which enabled them to implicate the Huji members, so as to ensure the utmost transparency in this high-profile case;

  3. Would appreciate receiving information as to whether the 10 persons initially arrested in this case are still linked to it or have meanwhile been released;

  4. Stresses that, under international human rights law, the competent authorities have the obligation to institute a prompt and impartial investigation wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed; wishes therefore to ascertain whether the authorities have instituted an investigation into the alleged torture of four of the initially arrested suspects (Shahed Ali, Joynal Abedin Momen, Zamri Ali and Tajul Islam) who were allowed to retract their statements on that ground;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to invite the competent authorities to provide this information;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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