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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 184th session
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

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/184/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 183rd session (October 2008),

Noting that on 2 February 2009 a meeting was held between the IPU Secretary General and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General of Bangladesh at which they stated their commitment to ensuring that justice was done and provided further information on the case proceedings; taking into account the progress report provided by the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Office in Geneva on 10 December 2008, and of the information which has been regularly provided by the sources,

Recalling that the persons initially suspected of committing the grenade attack of 27 January 2005 which killed Mr. Kibria retracted their statements and were finally released on bail in late 2008; that the main accused, Mr. Quayum, made public statements about how the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had tortured him to extract a false confession and that the other suspects affirmed that the government of the time had paid individuals to testify against them; considering in this respect that, according to the sources, cases have been brought against investigating officers, one of whom, Mr. Munshi Atiquer Rahman, was for a time in charge of the investigation into Mr. Kibria's killing, for having deliberately shielded the true perpetrators and committed torture; that they were instructed to appear before the court but have not yet done so and are absconding,

Recalling further that, following several applications by Mr. Kibria's family for further investigation, the investigation was reopened in March 2007 and a new investigating officer took over in May 2007; that 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 collecting several grenades to eliminate Awami League leaders, including Mr. Shah Ams Kibria; that however, Mufti Abdul Hannan and two of his co-accused have reportedly retracted their statements, affirming that they were obtained under duress, and denied any involvement in Mr. Kibria's murder; noting that, according to the source, they continue under investigation in this case, but without Mr. Kibria's family being informed or notified of the proceedings and hearings that have taken place in the past months before the Sylhet Speedy Trial Tribunal, which is examining this case,

Bearing in mind that in the legislative elections held in Bangladesh in December 2008 the Awami League obtained a large majority, and that former opposition leader Sheikh Hasina has taken office as the new Prime Minister,

  1. Welcomes the commitment of the new authorities to the pursuit of justice in this case, which is all the more essential as the course of justice has been wilfully and seriously thwarted;

  2. Notes therefore with satisfaction that action has been taken to hold to account the State officials who diverted the cause of justice and to establish responsibility for the alleged torture of suspects in custody; is confident that the authorities will make every effort to apprehend the officers in question in order that responsibility may be established and the appropriate sanctions handed down; wishes to be kept informed in this respect;

  3. Is confident that these steps address not only the initial investigation but also the statement of the current main suspect that his confession was obtained under duress; wishes therefore to ascertain whether or not the court has accepted his retraction and the grounds for its decision;

  4. Remains unclear about the number and identity of the persons now suspected of the grenade attack, whether they have all been arrested in this case, the current stage of the proceedings before the Sylhet Speedy Trial Tribunal, and the reasons for the failure of the authorities to notify Mr. Kibria's family of the hearings in this case; reiterates therefore its wish to receive information on these points;

  5. Is confident that the newly elected parliament will exercise its oversight function to ensure due administration of justice in this case;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary and judicial authorities, inviting them to supply the requested information;

  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 121st Assembly of the IPU (October 2009).
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