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PM welcomes ICC decision to probe atrocities on Rohingyas

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Dhaka Tribune
Published at 10:48 am February 16th, 2019

ICC Chief Prosecutor Dr Fatou Bensouda meets Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Friday; February 15, 2019 BSS

She assured the ICC of giving all possible support to the team which is scheduled to visit Bangladesh next month

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to send a team for “preliminary examination” of the atrocities on Rohingyas by Myanmar Army.
She assured the ICC of giving all possible support to the team which is scheduled to visit Bangladesh next month, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque said while briefing reporters on Friday, following a meeting of the prime minister with ICC Chief Prosecutor Dr Fatou Bensouda on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
“The prime minister in principle welcomed the ICC team which will visit Bangladesh at the beginning of March and assured them of giving all support in this regard,” the foreign secretary said.
The prime minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim was present at the briefing.
Shahidul said the prime minister and the ICC chief prosecutor discussed the issues relating to the trial of genocide of Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 and atrocities on Rohingya nationals in Myanmar.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized on the importance of bringing the perpetrators of the genocide of Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 to book.
About the trial of atrocities on Rohingyas, Dr Fatou said the ICC has already brought the Rohingya issue under its jurisdiction and set up a court for trial of the perpetrators.
He said the ICC team will visit Bangladesh to have the “preliminary examination” aimed at establishing the case.
The prime minister also underlined the background of the killing of Bangabandhu and his family members in 1975 and informed the ICC chief prosecutor about the trial process of the killers.
The ICC chief prosecutor requested the prime minister to visit the ICC to speak to the judges on the issue of the trial of the 1971 genocide.
Dr Fatou thanked the prime minister for playing a pioneering role in the ICC. “The Bangladeshi ambassador is playing an active role in various committees in the ICC,” she said.
The ICC is a new area where Bangladesh has been involved actively recently, the foreign secretary said.
Earlier Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Nobel laureate Batrice Fihn called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Fihn thanked the prime minister for Bangladesh’s firm stance on the issue of abolition of nuclear weapons, and appreciated Bangladesh’s constant efforts as a country, since Bangabandhu’s era in 1974, to make South Asia a nuclear free zone. 
The foreign secretary said Fihn hoped Bangladesh would take a leading role in abolishing nuclear weapons, amid its two big neighbouring countries developing such weapons.
Shahidul said Fihn praised the prime minister’s diplomatic efforts to bring peace and stability in the region, soon after nuclear bombing tests were held in India and Pakistan in the late 90s.
She also recalled the prime minister’s visit to the two countries, aimed at pursuing them to stop participating in the nuclear arms race, and spend the money for development and reduction of poverty instead.
Bangladesh is one of the first countries which signed the convention on abolition of nuclear weapons, Fihn said.
She informed the prime minister that they were considering organizing an event on abolishing nuclear weapons on the sidelines of the coming UN General Assembly and invited Sheikh Hasina to join the program.

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