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Bangladeshi social activists gather during a nation wide strike following the conviction and sentencing of senior JI leader, Ghulam Azam for war crimes in Dhaka on July 16, 2013.—Photo by AFP
Bangladeshi social activists gather during a nation wide strike following the conviction and sentencing of senior JI leader, Ghulam Azam for war crimes in Dhaka on July 16, 2013.—Photo by AFP

DHAKA: A special tribunal has sentenced a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islaami party to death for his role in the kidnapping and killing of people involving Bangladesh's independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

The verdict came Wednesday in a packed courtroom in the capital, Dhaka, in presence of Jamaat-e-Islami party's Secretary-general Ali Ahsan Mojaheed.

The tribunal found him guilty of kidnapping and killing a journalist, a music director and a number of other people.

Mojaheed faces seven charges including genocide, murder, conspiracy and complicity in atrocities during the war.

He is accused of leading a notorious group that during the war kidnapped and killed many teachers, journalists and writers who supported the cause for independence.

Bangladesh says the Pakistani army killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the war

Comments (31) Closed

Sumon Corraya Jul 17, 2013 01:08pm

We are happy for this verdict.

Muhammad Ashraf Jul 17, 2013 02:26pm

Is it justice or something else in the name of justice? what has happened to educated man of today ?

Dr Kadar Khan FRCS Jul 17, 2013 04:00pm

Well done BD. You are not only a secula, modern, forward thinking, progressive democracy but have a competent and functioning judiciary unlike your faiuld/failing counterpart on the western side. Best wishes

M. Siddique Jul 17, 2013 04:06pm

Hasina Wajed, It is time to move on. Hasina, if you so adament I hope members of Mukti Bahini also prosecuted. Family of member of my family was completely wiped out along with 2 children and luckily one little 3-year girl survied and is still living in trauma. Hasina, please provide her justice. Don't run these kangroo courts.

Masud Khan Jul 17, 2013 05:20pm

@Sumon Corraya :

Depends on who you are and who you speaking on behalf.

Masud Khan Jul 17, 2013 05:28pm

Those kids need to get a life, need to go back to the classrooms.

mj Jul 17, 2013 06:20pm

@Dr Kadar Khan FRCS: "secular, modern, forward thinking, progressive democracy". Yeah and I am the queen of England.

SHAFIQ AHMAD Jul 17, 2013 06:43pm

Justice was delayed but justice was not denied. The most unfortunate part is that the crimes were committed, innocents were killed, women were raped in the name of Islam.

M Ali Jul 17, 2013 06:44pm

Who will try those responsible for killing hundreds and thousand of non-Bangalis(Biharis, WestPakistanis and anti-secessionist Bengalis) in March/April 1971 and later after 16th of December 1971? If Justice is to prevail , it should be across board and not one-sided witch-hunting as is being done through kangaroo courts.

Waqar Jul 17, 2013 06:46pm

Very bad decision. He is religious leader, it is failure of government and indicates dark future of the current government

adi Jul 17, 2013 06:48pm

@Masud Khan: yep it never happened..go back to burying yr head in the sand .. Jul 17, 2013 07:11pm

But real handlers are still freely roaming in West Pakistan. What about them??

Sumant Bhalla Jul 17, 2013 07:58pm

My Congratulations to Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. You are taking your country in the right direction as a secular democratic state. As an Indian I'm glad a nation such as yours shares our sub-continent.

Mukesh Jul 17, 2013 08:57pm

Thank god Bangladesh chose to be a secular country otherwise it will be another Pakistan

Hamidullah Khwaja Jul 17, 2013 09:07pm

Now Pakistani nation need to apologize to Bangladesh else, the way Bangladesh is developing. It will be more richer than even Iran in 20 years and will be in par with South Korea.They will be sending their special forces to Pakistan to take revenge.

S. Israr Ali Jul 17, 2013 09:11pm

Trial and verdict by the Bangladesh Government after 42 long years of conflict is beyond comprehension. If we call wars a genocide, rapes or murders, then it cannot be denied that it was on both sides. Did the Mukti Bahini or forces working in that style not committed any genocides, rapes or murders! To be fair, to determine in a neutral way as to who did what there should have been first an independant tribunal preferrably under the aegies of UN consisting of internationally known and respected impartial persons with clear mandate and term of reference who after holding proper investigations, recording all evidences and examining circumstances should have given a verdict. Further actions, if any, against anyone including to do justice to individuals so identified should have followed in consequence of verdict of an impartial and unbiased tribunal so would have been formed and not otherwise.

Apart from that a forum existed for trials against such crimes at international level known as War Crimes Tribunals in Hague and under various treaties/protocols to which every country of the world including Bangla Desh is a signatory apart from Geneva Convention, all governments are bound to raise such issues at that forum and anybody charged with doing excesses or committing war crimes should have been tried there to maintain objectivity and avoid reprissals, revenge, partiality, prejudice and vindictiveness.

Since Bangla Desh Government that time in exile was itself a party in all those events and cannot be the judge of its own cause, hence any trial by them of their opponents would be travesty of justice, partial, prejudiced and against the law and the Government if still proceeds with that would besides flouting the international law and rules of justice be committing a crime of murder. The unharmed release of Founder of BD and his associates from Captivity from Pakistan and later their execution in their own lands by their own people when at helm of power itself speak volumes. Further it is wondered that despite such accusations when the BD released itself 92000 POWs how the blaim could still be sustainable.

The international community as well as World's Human Rights Commission should take stock of this mockery and intervene heavily to do justice and enforce rule of law and bring all to justice strictly according to international law in accordance with established norms of world's judicial systems and save loss of human lives.

Z Gakhar Jul 17, 2013 09:13pm

Jamat e islami should react strongly against bangladesh, so that they have to pay for this act.

Dan Jul 17, 2013 09:44pm

Paki people need to learn lesson from Bangladesh

Tariq Jul 17, 2013 10:07pm

Nothing but a political stunt and a travesty of justice. Who will punish those responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent non-Bengalis who were mercilessly butchered by the Mukti Bahini? Some pictures of terrified young men being bayoneted by groups of uniformed men after 16 Dec 1971 were published by international media. In civil war situations justice can never be one sided. This newspaper has become a mouthpiece for Pakistan haters.

Masood Raja Jul 17, 2013 10:32pm

Nations can not live in the past. It is time for BD leadership to move. As a matter of fact It was a civil war and India took advantage to break up Pakistan Our military rulers committed blunders and failed to solve a political crisis through political means. Hundreds and thousands of East Pakistani academics, armed forces personals diplomats and civil servants were working under Pakistani administration till 12/16/1971.Can Hesina Wajid and her cronies put them on trial too? What about 100000 non Bengali citizens of Pakistan who were butchered in the hands of Mukti Bhani thugs during the course of ethnic cleansing from 3/5/1971 to 3/25/191 and afterward? Ironically Mujibur Rahman was arrested by Pakistan army on 3/25/1971 and "Father of the Nation" was tritely killed by Bangladeshi Army along with his family on 3/15/1975. Former East Pakistan was internationally recognized part of Pakistan and the people of Muslim Bengal willingly joined Pakistan on august 14, 1947.Hasina Wajid and her Indian masters can not change the course of history.

Pankaj Patel Jul 17, 2013 10:41pm

Good job Bangladesh too late but batter then never.Justice has to be done for the pride of future generations.I was just a new collage graduate visiting Calcutta that time during war of independence and I will never forget the plight of those middle class Bangladeshis.They were in horrible condition and no body in the whole world cared for them.It takes lots of political risk to do this and should be done with sense of justice and not revenge.

Ajaya K Dutt Jul 17, 2013 10:47pm

When will Pakistan deliver justice for the atrocities commited by her forces?

Mansoor Jul 17, 2013 11:02pm

Take a lesson Pakistanis! A people can be become independent and mature. Bravo Bangladesh!

Karim Jul 17, 2013 11:03pm

The figure of those killed and raped is highly execrated to incite people for revenge. International human rights organizations should probe figures in detail and tell the real position. The killing was actually carried out by Army, why then Shaikh Mujeeb ur Rehman visited Pakistan immediately after the massacre . Why Bangla Dash continue to have cordial relations with countries responsible for massacre . It was people of Bengal who are chiefly responsible for the division of India and creation of Pakistan. In fact they are enjoying fruits of this creation. All religious organization should be banned because they go for brutality to grab power. See what happened in Indonesia.

cynical Jul 17, 2013 11:36pm

I hope now Pakistan has the courage to put on trial all those civil and military officers responsible for killing Pakistani citizens of bangali ethnicity in east Pakistan.

Shah Deeldar Jul 18, 2013 12:08am

Late but justice is finally delivered to these mass murderers 0f 71. Hiding behind the religion did not work. Good from BD side!

Ahmerw Jul 18, 2013 12:17am

I do not know whether our military and intelligence services have done more damage to Bangladesh or Afghanistan. In any case, they seem determined to surpass that in Balochistan.

Mustafa Jul 18, 2013 12:21am

"Bangladesh says the Pakistani army killed 3 million people..."

According to multiple population tracking web sites, the population of Bangladesh, then East Pakistan was between 66 and 67 million in 1970. That means that one out of every 23 or 24 Bangladeshis was killed. An average Muslim in his/her 60's in South Asia has about 50 first cousins. On the average, a Bangladeshi in his/her 60's would have two first cousins who were killed. Alternatively, a Bangladeshi in his/her 30's should have four people killed among his/her parent's first cousins. I would love to see what Jhurloo the Baniya Brigade tries against this logic. False testimonies would be the first line of Baniya defense. Look out for names like Muzeeb-ur-Rehman or Rukhsana Jia.

Alam Jul 18, 2013 10:37am

I hope Pakistanis will also arrange such trails against brutal Pakistani military officials of 1971. Unless, you will face same brutality from your own military in near future.

Saifur Rahman Jul 18, 2013 02:23pm

Saifur Rahman @M Ali: Yes my brother but there is a great difference between the two. Non-Bengalis were killed by unruly mobs without any prior plan and without any government sponsorship in a situation when there was no law & order or security in Dhaka. But Bengalis were killed & raped in cold blood by an organized army and political leaders with detailed plan and with government sponsorship.

John Vicary Jul 19, 2013 06:28pm

@Mustafa: And I was wondering why such words (like you have so lavishly used against a commnunity) are termed "rascist" in western world :( Anyways, do I care ??