“Journey to Justice”, a documentary on the genocide in Bangladesh during the 1971 Liberation War and the ongoing trials of perpetrators of war crimes in that country was screened here on Saturday.
The 60-minute film covers in detail the genocide during which the Pakistani occupation army, along with their local collaborators – mainly from the Jamat-e-Islami – killed three million innocent people, brutally raped over 200,000 women and rendered 10 million people refugees in India.
It also covers the ongoing trials of perpetrators of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) set up by the Awami League government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina nearly 40 years after that mass carnage.
Speaking to viewers ahead of the screening at the Press Club of India here, Shahriar Kabir, who researched, scripted and directed the film, said that it was the most difficult documentary he has ever made.
“I travelled to 12 countries for this,” he said. “We had to wait for 40 years to see the perpetrators being brought to justice.”
Kabir said that after the ICT started functioning in 2010, 50 perpetrators have been tried and six of them have been hanged.
“The tribunal is unique as it is trying international crimes under a domestic law that came into effect in 1973,” he said.
The documentary has rare footage of the Holocaust in the Second World War and the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh.
Kabir, in the documentary, also interviews human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, writers and civil society activists in countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal, Turkey, the US, Britain, Sweden and France.
Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali, who was also present, said that even in war certain rules must be followed.
“A crime is a crime, there must be punishment. And crime against humanity is a huge crime,” Ali said.