War crimes suspects cannot go abroad
The government has recently sent a list and photographs of 40 war crimes suspects to immigration offices across the country to prevent them from leaving the country.
The photographs of the suspects, including former Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Golam Azam and its detained chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, have been put on display at immigration offices at the international airports in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet and also those in border areas, immigration officials said.
Of the suspects, 38 are Jamaat and two are BNP leaders. They are suspected of committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
The government has already formed a special tribunal to hold the trial of war criminals.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun last night said the government had imposed a ban on the exit of the suspects from the country and sent their names and photographs to immigration offices.
She however did not say whether the suspects would be arrested soon or not.
A senior immigration officer at Dhaka Shahjalal International Airport said, "We have received a list of war crimes suspects and their photographs. The government directed us to prevent them from leaving the country."
Ali Azam, immigration officer-in-charge at Benapole check post, said the land port has been put on alert soon after they received the list of the suspects and their photographs.
"We are issuing exit permits to India-bound passengers after checking their photographs," he said.
The other suspects include Jamaat leaders Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Moulana Shakhwat Hossain, Abdul Quader Molla, Riasat Ali Biswas, Abdul Alim, ATM Azharul Islam, Habibur Rahman, Meer Kashem Ali, and Shah Mohammad Ruhul Kuddus, BNP leaders Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and his brother Giasuddin Quader Chowdhury.
As The Daily Star could not independently confirm the other names, those were not mentioned in the report.
The law-enforcers arrested top Jamaat leaders Nizami, Mojahid and Sayedee on June 20 and about 600 Jamaat leaders and activists in the last few days.
LIST TO BE SENT TO MISSIONS
Foreign minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the government may send a list of Bengali-speaking suspects of "crimes against humanity" in 1971 to foreign missions in Dhaka so that they could not flee the country as a process was underway to expose them to justice.
"We are trying to enforce a vigil so that they cannot flee the country," Moni told a press conference, reports BSS.
Replying to a question, she hinted that the home ministry was expected to send the list but hastened to add that such list was yet to be sent to the missions though a process was underway towards that end.
Moni, however, said it was not possible for the government to know who applied for visa unless the foreign missions sought opinion from the foreign ministry before issuing him the visa.
Asked if Dhaka was under any pressure from any foreign nation against their exposure to trial, the minister answered in the negative saying, "we are yet to get any (negative) reaction from any country".
Moni's comments came weeks after Home Minister Sahara Khatun said her ministry could seek Interpol assistance to track down Bengali-speaking perpetrators of "crimes against humanity" during 1971.
"Orders have been issued to prevent 'known' war criminals from leaving the country. Even if someone flees the country he would be brought back home if required with Interpol assistance," Khatun told newsmen.