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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 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/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Recalling that the investigation into the grenade attack of 27 January 2005 that took Mr. Kibria's life was closed in April 2006 despite petitions by Mr. Kibria’s family for further investigation, but reopened in March 2007 on the grounds that additional and significant information had emerged suggesting the involvement of other persons who had yet to be investigated; after a new investigating officer took over in May 2007 three Islamist militants belonging to the Horkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji), including their leader Mufti Abdul Hannan, were shown arrested in this case, as they had confessed to having collecting several grenades to eliminate Awami League leaders, including Mr. Shah Ams Kibria,

Considering that, according to media reports of August 2008 forwarded by one of the sources in this case, Mufti Abdul Hannan and two of his co-accused have retracted their statements, affirming that they had been obtained under torture; the court reportedly accepted their retraction petitions,

Recalling also that 10 suspects were initially arrested in this case; four of whom were allowed to retract their statements as they had been obtained under torture; the initial main accused, Mr. Quayum, who had not been allowed to retract his statement, was released on bail in September 2008 and made public statements about how the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had tortured him to extract a false confession,

Noting lastly that Mr. Kibria’s family has received no further information on the investigation and is unaware of any scheduled court proceedings,

Bearing in mind finally that Bangladesh is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

  1. Deeply regrets that the authorities have failed to provide any information on the proceedings under way in this case;

  2. Recalls that the Bangladeshi authorities have a duty to identify and bring to justice those responsible for Mr. Kibria’s murder and to this effect to conduct a thorough, independent and diligent investigation; is led to consider that the failure of the authorities to provide official information on progress made in the investigation, in particular to Mr. Kibria’s family, coupled with the persistent allegations of torture in this case, sheds a harsh light on the administration of justice in this case;

  3. Invites therefore the authorities once againto provide information on the current stage of the investigation and the prospects that the case will be brought to trial within a reasonable time;

  4. Stresses once again that, under the international human rights treaties which Bangladesh has ratified, the authorities have an obligation to institute a prompt and impartial investigation whenever there are reasonable grounds for believing that an act of torture has been committed; consequently wishes to ascertain whether the authorities have now instituted an investigation into the alleged torture of suspects in this case, including Mr. Quayum and Mufti Abdul Hannan;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to inform the authorities and the sources of information accordingly;

  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 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).

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