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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 189th session
(Bern, 19 October 2011)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Shah Ams Kibria, a member of the Parliament of Bangladesh who was assassinated in a grenade attack in January 2005, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/189/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 188th session (April 2011),

Recalling the following: the initial inquiry in this case proved to be an attempt by the investigating officers to divert the course of justice; since the investigation was reopened in March 2007, Islamist militants belonging to the Horkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji), including its leader Mufti Hannan Munshi, have been implicated; according to the Home Ministry’s report of March 2010, several persons have been arrested, including the two persons (Mizanur Rahman Mithu and Md Badrul Alam Mizan) who detonated the grenades; in addition, the former State Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Lutfozzaman Babar, stands accused of harbouring and protecting the individuals who threw the grenades; noting that he has not admitted to ordering the attack,

Noting that, in a communication submitted by members of the Bangladeshi delegation to the 125th IPU Assembly, the crime is depicted as follows: upon further investigation, it has been established that a Kashmir-based Islamic militant organization led by Abdul Mazid Butt helped Mufti Abdul Hannan and Moulana Tajuddin, leader of Horkatul Jihad Al Islami, Bangladesh, to transport Arges grenades from Pakistan to Bangladesh with the intent to commit assassinations in different parts of the country; investigations revealed that the accused Badrul Alam Mizan, Mizanur Rahman Mithu, Badrul and Mohammed Ali were present when the grenades were thrown at Shah Ams Kibria,

Considering that, on 20 June 2011, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted a supplementary charge sheet against 24 persons, including the 10 originally accused, with the request that the court rule on their status; noting that, according to the information provided by the Bangladeshi delegation, the CID investigation did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute those 10 originally accused; however, for procedural reasons, their names have been included in the present charge sheet which may be taken into consideration by the Court during trial; according to them, the trial is now under way before the Sylhet Speedy Trial Tribunal,

Also considering that Mrs. Kibria has objected to the supplementary charge sheet as she regards it as incomplete and therefore filed a no-confidence motion, which will be dealt with in court on 25 October 2011; according to Mr. Kibria’s family, the evidence is drawn largely from interrogations in prison and, given the likelihood that the accused would claim that they were obtained under duress, would not hold up in court; considering that, according to the source, the CID only met with Mr. Kibria’s family in 2009 and 2010; that during the second meeting it informed the family that progress had been made but that many questions remained unanswered; that the proposals made by Mr. Kibria’s family to help advance the investigation were disregarded, including the suggestion that the investigators question some local authorities and others who were with Mr. Kibria on the day of his assassination or would otherwise be able to provide useful information, and that further international assistance be provided for the investigation; recalls in this regard that, shortly after the assassination, agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) travelled to Bangladesh and apparently examined some of the material found at the crime scene and conducted lie-detector tests; that, however, its report and findings were never shared with Mr. Kibria’s family,

Further considering that striking similarities exist between the grenade attack on Mr. Kibria and the one targeting Sheikh Hasina and others five months earlier, given that both attacks targeted key members of the opposition at the time, that the same type of grenade was used in those attacks, that in both cases the investigation has revealed an alleged conspiracy between members of the then ruling party and Islamist extremists and that, in this respect, several persons stand accused in both cases,

  1. Is dismayed that, after many extensions of the investigation, the Bangladeshi investigative authorities submitted a supplementary charge sheet which again fails to identify the suspected instigators of the assassination;

  2. Considers that the many similarities existing between the grenade attack that killed Mr. Kibria and the one targeting Sheikh Hasina and the fact that substantive progress was achieved recently in the latter case towards identifying the instigators should enable the authorities to make similar progress in investigating the murder of Mr. Kibria; observes in this respect that it has emerged in Sheikh Hasina’s case that the members of the then ruling party accused in the previous charge sheet had allegedly acted at the behest of high-ranking party officials and in complicity with the authorities in charge of law and order in Bangladesh;

  3. Firmly believes that it would in the interests of justice, given the many questions remaining unanswered in Mr. Kibria’s case and the State of Bangladesh’s obligation to conduct a thorough and effective investigation, that the no-confidence motion is granted and the authorities directed to complete the investigation in a genuine in-depth and comprehensive manner so as to miss no opportunity of shedding full light on this crime and hence of identifying its instigators;

  4. Remains convinced that international assistance would be useful for this by promoting new evidence-taking and re-analysis of existing evidence; wishes to receive the observations of the authorities on this point;

  5. Is concerned that the investigators are said to have made only minimal attempts to inform Mr. Kibria’s family of the status of the investigation and failed to notify them beforehand of the charge sheet submitted on 20 June 2011; calls on the authorities to keep the family regularly informed and, for the sake of transparency and accountability, to share with it documents that have become available in the course of the investigation, such as the report on the investigative work carried out by FBI agents in 2005;

  6. Awaits details of the steps being taken, at the level of Parliament through the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Home Affairs, to help ensure that the investigation fully elucidates Mr. Kibria’s murder and that his family is regularly informed;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities and to the sources;

  8. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 126th IPU Assembly (March/April 2012).
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