DAVID BERGMAN: NOW AND THEN
Image:David Bergman, taken from southasiajournal.net
David Bergman who made documentary in 1995 on the brutal atrocities on the Bengali people during 1971 liberation war by Pakistan Occupation Forces and their local collaborators that brought forth the demand of war crimes trial once again and exposed the Islamic extremists now living in UK who had committed crimes against humanity at that time, later in 2011 would be seen as accused of contempt of the court for publishing controversial opinion article in a Newspaper criticizing the trial process in International crimes court.
The documentary he was the director and researcher behind, was titled as War Crimes File. It was aired on British TV Channel and created for Twenty Twenty Television.It received a special commendation in the “Best International Current Affairs Award” category from the Royal Television Society in 1995. He got the assistance of film-maker Tareque Masud in making the film.
Justice Md Nizamul Huq, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir and AKM Zahir Ahmed saw the article, “A crucial period for International Crimes Tribunal,” in New Age on 2 October 2011, by Bergman, son-in-law of Gano Forum president Dr. Kamal Hossain, as contempt and warned him and his publisher to be more careful.
Bergman, a UK citizen from Hadley Wood, in north London, who maintains a blog that follows the proceedings of the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh, has criticised the procedures of the Tribunal as flawed.
He came heavily across particularly after Skype recorded emails between the justice and Ahmed Ziauddin leaked on YouTube and in publications such as The Economist and Amar Desh following which justice Nizamul Huq resigned.
In a response to Tahmina Anam’s article on ‘Shahbag’, Bergman, in a blog in the website of the Bangladesh chronicle on February 15, 2013, criticized her for make him “Abul Quader Mollah” a monster, termed her way of writing as “rather misleading.”
He wondered why she along with “so many of those who support Shahbag” are “totally blind/silent to the significant problematic parts” of the trial process.
Thus, many have observed that Bergman had been particularly trying to criticize the process of people’s long desired war crimes trial since it had began. To many that Bergman resonated the propaganda that Jamaat, the organization allegedly perpetrated the war crimes, run against the trial as well the government. And to many Bergman emerged as sympathetic to BNP which is an ally of Jamaat. Many of the observation were seen in the comments that Bergman’s blogs triggered.
Bergman brought his criticisms regarding every development of the trial of the crimes against humanity. But most of who followed his criticism saw that he hardly brought the rationale, context, or achievements of the tribunal. He rarely talked of the necessity of the trial to uphold the essence of humanity, the need of it in order to get rid of the culture of impunity.
It was never important in the discussions of Bergman what kind of impediments and reactions the tribunal or the process had to encounter on the way to try the heinous crimes executed against humanity in the time of liberation war. Bergman never found that the violence that was executed in the last year, which the government repeatedly claimed and the people realized, was targeted to foil the trial.
Bergman usually ignores the demand that people of all walk raised in the country for the trial, a consensus among the people. Who would say he has ever protested the brutal attacks Jamaat-Shibir carried out to kill the activists of pro-71 personalities around the country who took to street with the cause in a democratic way.
Even if hadn’t he take a stance for BNP or Jamaat, his effort certainly has made it more difficult for Bangladesh to draw an end to the culture of impunity and injustice as what he has been doing has aimed to weaken the process of establishing the rule of law, which is never possible sparing the notorious war criminals.
However, Bergman was not successful to foil the trial as most people didn’t find it logical. He can distract people from their expectation and demand. But apparently he never ceased to maintain tie with the people and organization that have never been found pleased with any verdict and war crimes trial.
Bergman never showed how ruthless violence by the two parties Jamaat and BNP before the election have reminded us the atrocities in the liberation war and the need for the war crimes trial.The few people and organizations that Bergman referred in his blogs that were dedicated to find faults in the trial process have rarely been found to be content with the verdict handed down by the International crimes tribunal despite experts from home and abroad found it as having maintained the international standard in the process.
These practices of Bergman naturally instigate the curiosity among the people who are behind his role? What helps him doing such activities that could even interrupt the trial against the crimes against humanity that the people of the country and many other places around the world have been struggling for? Does Bergman not stand for who did such heinous crimes.
Why doesn’t he see that the crimes that are dealt with now has always been attempted to keep out of the legal proceedings over the years before he brings his rationales bring forth, many of which might have also been placed before the court by the defence lawyers.
And for the same purpose, they tried to devastate the democratic system of the country.
And hasn’t he noticed how BNP along with Jamaat failed to gain any support to their cause as people denied them for their stance in the question of war crimes tribunal? Won’t it be a historic crime to do anything that impedes a struggle of a collective to establish the truth?
February 11, 2014