The International Crimes Tribunal in Monday’s verdict in the Patuakhali war crimes case said in observations that during the Liberation War war criminals used rape as a weapon against victims.
It said rape was more powerful than bullets since rape causes ‘living death’.
The 12-chapter verdict said in the sentencing chapter, ‘the victims of recurrent rape in captivity have been carrying the trauma they sustained like a bullet for the rest of their lives. Stigma of such grave sexual invasion not only destroyed the victims’ families but dehumanized the society.’
The five war criminals were sentenced to death finding them guilty of abducting 15 women from their homes in Itbaria village under the then Patuakhali Sadar thana of Patuakhali then a sub-division on May 4, 1971, taking them to the Patuakhali Circuit House army camp where they were tortured and raped for 10 days until May 14.
Six of the victims testified in the tribunal as prosecution witnesses.
The verdict called the army camp ‘a rape camp’.
The women including the six victims who came to the witness box were among hundreds of thousands women who sacrificed their supreme honour for the cause of independence of Bangladesh, says the verdict.
During the rest of their life they must get the utmost honour as they fought by laying their highest self-worth, for the cause of independence of the nation, it says.
‘It is the time to unlock the collective voice to recognize and honour our great mothers and sisters, the war heroines,’ says the verdict.
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