- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2003

INDIA

Top court appoints Gujarat trial observer

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court has intervened in the state’s trials over last year’s communal violence after criticism of the lack of progress in prosecuting Hindus responsible for killing about 2,000 Muslims in sectarian violence.

The Supreme Court said Thursday the western state would have to obtain federal clearances for special public prosecutors appointed by the Gujarat administration to try those charged in the killings. The order was a rebuke to the state’s Hindu nationalist BJP government, accused by human rights groups of turning a blind eye to the bloodshed.

BANGLADESH

302 police retired over corruption ties

DHAKA — Bangladesh, named this week as the most corrupt country in the world, has forced 302 police officers into early retirement for their reported links with criminals.

A Home Ministry official said the officers were forced into early retirement this week, but denied Thursday the action was related to a report by Transparency International that named Bangladesh for the third year in a row as having the most perceived public-sector corruption.

NEPAL

11 Tibetan pilgrims held for illegal entry

KATMANDU — Eleven Tibetans, including three children and a woman, have been arrested for illegally entering Nepal, police report.

The Tibetans, who carried no travel permits, crossed into Nepal in the northwest early this week to travel to the birthplace of Lord Buddha at Lumbini in the southwest. They had planned to follow this with a pilgrimage to Katmandu, said police subinspector Hari Pal. The U.N. High Commission for Refugees was investigating, he added.

Several groups of Tibetans have been arrested this year for entering Nepal illegally on their way to India.

Weekly notes …

Tajikistan’s parliament has ratified a controversial agreement with Washington that pledges not to send U.S. citizens for prosecution at the newly created U.N. International Criminal Court, a lawmaker told Agence France-Presse. “The Tajik-U.S. agreement is valid for five years,” added Abdullo Khabibov. In July, Washington froze military aid to 35 countries around the globe for refusing to sign agreements granting immunity for U.S. citizens. … Azerbaijan’s president, Haydar Aliyev will not return to Azerbaijan from a clinic in Cleveland in time for the Oct. 15 presidential election, his son announced two days ago. The elder Mr. Aliyev, 80, who has dominated politics in the oil-rich former Soviet state since the 1960s, pulled out of the race last week and urged voters to back his son, Ilham, who was appointed prime minister in August, making him the president’s constitutional successor.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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