12:00 AM, February 21, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 21, 2013

War Criminals

Protectors won't be spared: PM

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Staff Correspondent

The BNP and others, who want to protect war criminals and Jamaat-e-Islami that opposed Bangladesh's birth, would also be brought to book, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday.
Saying the trial of crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War would be done on this soil, she sought cooperation from people of all walks of life in accomplishing the task as pledged by the ruling Awami League before the last parliamentary elections.
Nine people, including six from Jamaat, have so far been brought under trial in connection with war crimes. Of the nine, two have already been convicted by a war crimes tribunal.
"InshAllah, we will get verdicts of the trial [of the remaining war crimes cases] and be able to execute those," she said, addressing a discussion at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
The Awami League organised it to mark the International Mother Language Day today with its Presidium Member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury in the chair.
The young generations woke up to the spirit of the Liberation War, AL President Hasina said, adding now no one would be able to obstruct the trial process through conspiracies.
Youths learnt the true history of the war through the information and communication technology; an outcome of the government's efforts to make a digital Bangladesh, the PM said.
Hasina expressed deep gratitude towards the young people who voted her party to power in 2008 elections, leading to the government amending the constitution and beginning the war crimes trial.
AL Presidium Member Matia Chowdhury said the anti-liberation forces were involved in the recent killing of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar. They killed Rajib the way they killed many intellectuals ahead of the country's independence on December 16, 1971.
"They are not human beings. They are beasts. They have hacked Rajib's blog and posted offensive comments to hurt religious sentiment of the people," Matia said, urging people not to be misled by such propaganda.
Agriculture Minister Matia also blasted national and international human rights organsiations for their request to Bangladesh government to ensure human rights of the war criminals.
"Where were these human rights organisations when the anti-liberation forces killed freedom fighters and raped women?"
The war crimes trial is being held, maintaining international standards, Matia said.
Hinting at the Jamaat-e-Islami, the key ally of the BNP in the 18-party opposition alliance, she said those, who do not follow rules and regulation of Bangladesh, would not be allowed to do politics here.
AL leaders Syed Ashraful Islam, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Abdul Latif Siddique, Nooh-ul-Alam Lenin, Shahara Khatun and Mahbubul Alam Hanif also spoke.

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