Bangladesh sets regional precedent as it joins International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court Headquarters in The Hague

24 March 2010 – Bangladesh has become the first South Asian country to ratify the pact that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) and gave it a mandate for trying people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Bangladeshi Government ratified the 1998 Rome Statute yesterday, according to a press release issued by the ICC in The Hague, the Dutch city where the permanent, independent court is based.

When the statute enters into force for Bangladesh on 1 June, the South Asian country will become the 111th nation worldwide to become a State Party to the ICC. The court was set up in 2002 after the statute took effect that year when it passed a total of 60 ratifications.

The court’s President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, noted that Bangladesh is the first country in its region to join the ICC.

“I applaud its decision to join the growing commitment of States to end impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” he said.

The ICC is currently investigating events in four countries or regions: Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Darfur region of western Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

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