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Freedom in the air

Jamaat

War Crimes Act

Change in law in Jan to try Jamaat

A bill amending the ICT law to let the tribunals try and punish organisations for war crimes is likely to be passed in parliament in January, said Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday. The International Crimes Tribunal-1 has termed Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed Bangladesh's birth during the 1971 Liberation War, a “criminal organisation” for its role in the war. The minister yesterday said the proposal to amend the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 would be placed before the cabinet either this month or...

01/12/2007

The politics of 1971

The politics of 1971

In Bangladesh, history has become party politics. The source of this attitude may be in the nature of the political leadership that we have had since 1972 who feel anything is justified if it leads to political power. Of the three main politically contesting histories, each party now has its own version. It means the AL, the BNP, and now the Jamaat version of 1971. We, in general, also refuse to contest obvious factual oddities and occasional absurdities because we are afraid that our national consciousness may be challenged by what is found. In the last 36 years we have lost our confidence to face history. Given such weak nerves and even...

War crimes suspect Sakhawat sent to jail

War crimes suspect Sakhawat sent to jail

War crimes suspect former BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Mawlana Sakhawat Hossain was sent to jail today a day after police arrested him from Uttar Khan of Dhaka. International Crime Tribunal-1 passed the order this afternoon after police produced the former Jamaat lawmaker before the special court in the morning. Following a plea from Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud Simon, the tribunal gave the prosecution one more month to submit the progress report on a probe into Shakhawat’s alleged war crimes. Earlier on October 29, the tribunal issued an arrest warrant against Sakhawat and asked the prosecution for a progress report on the investigation in the suspect’s alleged crimes. Sakhawat, 70, and former MP of Jessore-6...

Jessore war crimes suspect Sakhawat Hossain held

Jessore war crimes suspect Sakhawat Hossain held

Police arrested a war crimes suspect Mawlana Sakhawat Hossain at Uttar Khan in Dhaka this evening. Sakhawat Hossain, 70, former lawmaker of Jamaat and BNP in Jessore-6 (Keshabpur), went on hiding since a war crimes probe against him began in February 2011. Law enforcers arrested him from the ground floor of a house at Masterpara in Uttar Khan around 6:00pm, Yunus Ali, officer-in-charge of Uttar Khan Police Station, told The Daily Star. The war crimes investigation agency received a number of allegations of murder, mass killing and other crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War against Sakhawat. A probe which started on April 1, 2012, would soon be completed and the report...

STRANGER THAN FICTION

What should Bangladesh do with Jamaat?

AS media reports, the Bangladesh Government is going to proscribe the Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party. This move could be taken as early as December, or latest by January 2015. The High Court has already de-registered the party, which amounts to revoking its legitimacy. From the ongoing debates among politicians, analysts and members of the civil society in Bangladesh on proscribing the Jamaat it appears that the issue solely hinges on one particular premise, the party's opposition to the...

Radicals behind father's killing

Radicals behind father's killing

A day after the brutal murder of Prof Shafiul Islam, his son yesterday blamed radical forces for the killing. "Religious fanatics have murdered my father," said Soumin Shahrid Javin. “He was a devoted follower of Baul philosophy. He not only believed in it, he practically lived it. My father would arrange programmes of Baul songs at home and would invite people. Even a professor from India's Kalyani University came and attended such a programme on Tuesday," said the only son of the slain professor. "He was progressive but never involved in politics. He preached humanism. This is what the radicals like Jamaat-Shibir men did not like and these are the people who...

WAR TRIAL

Khokon Razakar verdict tomorrow

Khokon Razakar verdict tomorrow

A tribunal in Dhaka today fixed Thursday for delivering its verdict in the war crimes case against fugitive BNP leader MA Zahid Hossain Khokon known as Khokon Razakar for his alleged crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War. According to the prosecution, Khokon led the Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani army, in Faridpur district in 1971. The 70-year-old faces 11 charges, including genocide, torture, abduction, rape and confinement. Being the vice-president of Nagarkanda unit BNP, Khokon contested the municipality election in 2011 and became its mayor. After taking the oath, he went into hiding and the investigation agency “assumed” that he is now in Sweden with his son and...

Kamaruzzaman’s execution may take time: AG

Kamaruzzaman’s execution may take time: AG

The execution of condemned war criminal Muhammad Kamaruzzaman might take time, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam hinted today. “The Appellate Division has not issued an order to execute Kamaruzzaman yet. It appears that the apex court will deliver the full verdict before ordering for execution,” he told reporters at a press briefing at his office...

Kamaruzzaman won’t seek mercy before review plea disposal

Kamaruzzaman won’t seek mercy before review plea disposal

Condemned war criminal Muhammad Kamaruzzaman will not seek presidential mercy until the Supreme Court disposes of his review petition to be filed with the apex court, a defence lawyer said today. “Kamaruzzaman will decide about the presidential mercy after the Supreme Court disposed of his review petition,” Mohammad Shishir Manir, one of the counsels of the death row convict, said at a press conference at Supreme Court Bar Association this afternoon. The Jamaat-e-Islami leader will file the review within 30 days after receiving the certified copy of the Appellate Division judgment that upheld his death penalty for wartime offences, Manir told reporters. On November 3, the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty...

Execution only thru' due process

Two human rights experts of the United Nations have called on the government to stay the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman who has been awarded death penalty for crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on summary executions, and Gabriela Knaul, another UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said a person sentenced to death must have the right to seek pardon or commutation of his sentence.  In a press release...

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