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By Sakhawat Sejan

In a mock-trial aiming to protest and raise awareness against the atrocities committed by the Myanmar forces against Rohingya people, the Students’ Tribunal found the elements of genocide held Myanmar responsible for the atrocities and urged the global community to come forward.

Organized by Society for Critical Legal Studies (SCLS), the Students’ Tribunal was held today at the Chittagong Judges’ Court Auditorium. It was designed in the structure of international criminal court.

The Tribunal was comprised of three judges, which was headed by eminent jurist Barrister M Amir-ul-Islam as the chairman. Dr. S M Masum Billah, Assistant Professor of Law at Jagannath University and Advocate Badrul Hasan Kachi, a Supreme Court lawyer and editor of were the member judges of the panel.

Law students from 18 different universities in Bangladesh who firmly believe in demonstrating the position and stands of Bangladesh towards this issue, attended the tribunal in different capacities. The student lawyers for Prosecution and Defense put forward their cases before the judges. Witnesses provided the horrific accounts of barbarity. After a long deliberation, the honorable judges were convinced to convict Myanmar Government and stated that there were elements of genocide in the atrocities of Myanmar. At the end, the Chairman and Judges of the Tribunal came up with a verdict that the incumbent Myanmar Government is responsible for the atrocities committed, and persecution against the Rohingya people, which is genocide.

After the mock trial, an open discussion was held on this very issue, where the history of the Rohingya community, present condition and possible solutions of this problem were discussed. The keynote paper was presented by Dr. Rahman Nasir Uddin, Professor of Department of Anthropology, Chittagong University. The lecture was followed by an open discussion forum, which was moderated by Mr. Nirmal Kumar Shaha, Associate Professor of Law, University of Chittagong who is also the current moderator of SCLS.

The program was attended by legal luminaries, scholars, lawyers, judges, NGO activists, law students and other concerned citizens. Among other dignitaries, Advocate Ratan Kumar Roy, President of the Chittagong District Bar Association,  Commodore S M Monir (rtd.), Chairman of TechVan Properties Ltd., Ms. Masooma Zamaan, an official from the Ministry of Law and Advocate Tayab Kiron, a lawyer based in Chittagong were present.