Thursday, February 28, 2013
Devout Muslims in Bangladesh are on the warpath ….again. Finally, jihadists are having to answer for the deaths of over 3 million people in Bangladesh’s 1971 fight for independence. Bangladesh fought a nine-month war for freedom from Islamic Pakistan.
One of the chief al-Badr (Jamai Death squad in 1971) executioners. It has been clearly proved that he himself shot to death 7 teachers of Dhaka university in the killing zones at Mirpur. A certain Mofizzuddin, who drove the vehicle that carried those hapless victims to Mirpur, has clearly identified Ashrafuzzaman as the “chief killer” of the intellectuals.
ICNA’s NY president, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, is charged in the abductions and deaths of 18 people during the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to Bangladesh’s independence. When called for comment, Khan said, “I don’t know what is happening in Bangladesh. I am not a citizen of Bangladesh.” He sounds just like those Nazi war criminals when they were discovered living new lives in America (or Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, et al). The only difference is that the Nazis were hiding. These Islamic supremacists are held up as role models and pillars of tolerance and interfaith ishcabibble by media and clueless politicians.
Bangladeshi youth march through the streets as they celebrate the death sentence awarded to Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee in Dhaka on Thursday. Photo: AP
Bangladesh Islamist’s death sentence sparks deadly riots By Anis Ahmed, Reuters, DHAKA | Thu Feb 28, 2013
(Reuters) – A Bangladeshi Islamist party leader was sentenced to death on Thursday over abuses carried out during the country’s independence war, triggering riots that killed at least 30 people.
Delwar Hossain Sayedee, 73, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was found guilty by Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal of mass killing, rape, arson, looting and forcing minority Hindus to convert to Islam during the 1971 war of separation from Pakistan, lawyers and tribunal officials said.
After he was convicted and sentenced, police clashed with activists from Sayedee’s party and violence raged in more than a dozen areas around the country, police, witnesses and media reports said.
At least three policemen were among the dead and around 300 were wounded, they added.
Protesters, who said the verdict was politically motivated, set fire to a Hindu temple and several houses in southern Noakhali region, reporters said. In the southeastern region of Cox’s Bazar, they attacked a police camp, killing one.
Two policemen were killed when Islamists stormed a police station at Sundarganj in northern Gaibandha district, police said. “We have been virtually besieged. It’s a horrible situation,” station officer Manzur Rahman told Reuters.
Members of the religious party – known simply as Jamaat – called for a national strike on Sunday and Monday, raising fears of more violence. Sayedee was the third senior party member convicted by the tribunal.
In the capital, authorities deployed extra police and paramilitary soldiers, a Home Ministry official told reporters.
Thousands of people in the capital’s Shahbag square, who support the tribunal and have been protesting for weeks to demand the highest penalty for war criminals, burst into cheers as the sentence was announced.
Sayedee looked defiant but remained calm in the dock as judges read out the verdict, witnesses said.
“I didn’t commit any crime and the judges are not giving the verdict from the core of their heart,” Sayedee told the tribunal, said reporters at the hearing.
State prosecutor Haider Ali told reporters he was happy with the verdict which he said “appropriately demonstrated justice”.
Defense attorney Abdur Razzak said the sentence was politically motivated. “He is a victim of sheer injustice. We will appeal,” he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up the tribunal in 2010 to investigate abuses during the war that claimed about 3 million lives. Thousands of women were raped during the conflict.
The tribunal has been criticized by rights groups for failing to adhere to international standards. Human Rights Watch said lawyers, witnesses and investigators reported they had been threatened.
Critics say the tribunal is being used by the prime minister as an instrument against her opponents in the two biggest opposition parties, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami. Begum Khaleda Zia, Hasina’s arch rival and leader of the BNP, has called the tribunal a farce.
Hasina’s party has denied allegations of bias.
On January 21, the tribunal sentenced Abul Kalam Azad, a former Jamaat member, to death in absentia after he was found guilty of torture, rape and genocide during the independence war.
In its second verdict, on February 5, the tribunal sentenced another senior Jamaat member, Abdul Quader Mollah, 64, to life in prison after he was found guilty of murder, rape, torture and arson.
Both verdicts triggered protests by Jamaat supporters, in which at least 15 people were killed.
Nine more people, mostly Jamaat members, are facing trial for war crimes, tribunal officials said.
The overwhelmingly Muslim south Asian country of 160 million people would likely see more violence in the run-up to parliamentary elections in January, in which both Hasina and Khaleda will run for power, analysts said.
Bangladesh became part of Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule in 1947. But the country, then known as East Pakistan, won independence with India’s help in December 1971 following a nine-month war against the then West Pakistan.
Some factions in Bangladesh opposed the break with Pakistan, including the Jamaat. Jamaat leaders have denied involvement in abuses.