Bangladesh: Media block on 1971 genocide trial

Nobody knows who dunnit, because ‘no Muslim can commit genocide’. But at least the ‘authorities’ pretend they’re doing something about it.

In any case,  Allah has already absolved them of any guilt:

008.017 (Al Anfal)
YUSUFALI: It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah’s: in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself: for Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).

The leader of Jamaat-e-Islami is accused of more than 50 killings during the war.

The Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal trying islamists, accused of collaborating with authorities in erstwhile Pakistan during the 1971 freedom movement, has restrained police and counsel from divulging details to the media.

The tribunal on Tuesday instructed the counsel and investigators involved in the trial process to refrain from revealing information discovered during the ongoing process, to the media.

The three man panel rejected a petition filed by Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer (chief) Motiur Rahman Nizami seeking suspension of statements which he had made to investigators during interrogation.

Nizami, heading the country’s largest Islamist party, has been in jail along with five others of his party’s top brass. They have been accused of leading a militia that targeted unarmed civilians in the run up to Bangladesh’s liberation in December 1971.

The charges, called “war crimes”, would be framed after the investigations are over.

A former minister during 2001-06, Nizami was interrogated at a safe house on May 5.

He petitioned the tribunal against the investigator, M Sanaullah Huq, for speaking to the media about his depositions. Haq had disclosed statements and information provided by Nizami to him during the questioning to the media.

Media reports have said Nizami, as also other accused, had regretted the ‘genocide’ – Dhaka says three million people perished in 1971. They claimed that they played no role in it.

Rejecting Nizami’s petitions, the tribunal restrained both the investigators and the lawyers of the accused to give details of the depositions to the media, save the basic proceedings. (source)

6 thoughts on “Bangladesh: Media block on 1971 genocide trial”

  1. Another three misllion murders to the blood thirsty account of allah inc.
    islam really is a religion of Ghouls!!

  2. Bangladesh: Over 100 injured, 230 cars set on fire, shops vandalized, archbishop struck with stone in “Islamist” rampage

    More on this story. “Islamists go on Dhaka rampage,” from UCA News, September 20 (thanks to JW):

    Several hundred supporters of the country’s largest Islamist party went on the rampage in Dhaka yesterday during a protest to demand the release of several of their top leaders arrested on war crimes charges.
    The crimes allegedly took place during Bangladesh’s fight for independence from Pakistan in 1971.
    Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to try and disperse members of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who were conducting a country-wide campaign yesterday against the imprisonment of their leaders, who were arrested amid a probe into individuals accused of collaborating with Pakistan and committing atrocities during the war.
    More than 100 people including two dozen policemen were injured in the clash which, according to police, flared when the protesters suddenly became violent.
    Jihad causes poverty:

    At least 230 cars, including five police vehicles, were set on fire or attacked and many shops were vandalized during the trouble, police sources said.
    Media reports said similar incidents took place in a number of districts across the country.
    According to police, at least 120 people were arrested during the course of the Dhaka violence, which took place in the Kakrail district close to where St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Archbishop’s House and St. Joseph’s Seminary are located.
    “I haven’t seen clashes like this for twenty years. We’re lucky no Church buildings were affected even though the road outside the cathedral looked like a battlefield,” said Father Kamal Corraya, the Dhaka archdiocesan social communications commission convener.
    Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka wasn’t so lucky, having been struck by a stone in Ramna Park, which is next to the cathedral, just as the clash began.
    The prelate was exercising in the park when he was struck and several seminarians went to his assistance, but luckily the prelate was unharmed, Archbishop’s House sources said.
    Holy Cross Fr Pankaj Nokrek, who had travelled to Dhaka for a meeting yesterday, had to run for cover when the violence broke out.
    “I had to run through tear gas and scenes of chaos. It was an awful experience, but at least I and some other people managed to find safety in a nearby house,” he said.

  3. Islamists, you really are dumb scum!!! Leave a few of you together and what comes out – violence over imagined slights. You are universally pathetic. You leaders were arrested because they are criminals – it that so hard for you to comprehend. I just love the blind circular logic used by you morons – muslims cannot be violent so violence cannot come from muslims.

  4. Bangladesh finally confronts war crimes 40 years on

    By Anbarasan Ethirajan

    Like many other Bengalis, eminent sculptor Ferdousy Priyabhashini is happy to see those accused of mass murder and rape during Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war finally stand trial.

    Ms Priyabhashini was 23 at that time, when a group of Pakistani soldiers and their Bangladeshi associates stormed into her house and dragged her away. Her husband and three children watched helplessly as she was bundled into an army jeep.

    For seven months, she was repeatedly raped and tortured at an army camp in the capital Dhaka, she says.

    “I was subjected to extreme physical and mental torture. They had no mercy. Many of my friends and relatives were killed in front of me,” she said.

    “It is heartening to see, 40 years after those atrocities, that some of those responsible for those gruesome acts are in the dock,” Ms Priyabhashini said.

    Violent birth
    Bangladesh is yet to come to terms with its violent birth in 1971, after the Pakistani government sent in its army to stop was what was then East Pakistan from becoming independent.

    Suspected collaborators were sometimes killed by their captors.
    It is not exactly clear how many people died, but official figures estimate that more than three million people were killed and hundreds of thousands of women raped during the nine-month bloody battle.

    The minority Hindu community was particularly targeted. Many Hindus were even forcibly converted to Islam.

    The war ended with the surrender of Pakistani forces to India, which intervened after millions of refugees flooded its eastern states to escape the brutality.

    Soon after the war, there were demands from the victims and human rights groups to try those responsible for the slaughter, rape and looting.

    However, Delhi, Dhaka and Islamabad agreed not to pursue war-crimes charges against the Pakistani soldiers, who were allowed to go back to their country.

    Collaborators pursued
    Despite various attempts, efforts to try those Bangladeshis who allegedly collaborated with the Pakistani forces did not materialise until last year.

    In 2010, for the first time, the Awami League-led government set up the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) to try those Bangladeshis accused of collaborating with Pakistani forces and committing atrocities.

    So far seven people, including two from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and five from the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party, have been arrested and are facing trial in Dhaka. All of them deny the charges.

    The Jamaat-e-Islami is the country’s largest Islamist party and it opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan at that time. Some of its members allegedly fought alongside the Pakistani army.

    However, the two opposition parties accuse the government of carrying out a vendetta and trying to use the trial to curb their political activities.

    “The trial will be transparent and independent. International observers will be allowed to come and watch the trial. The accused will be given full opportunity to defend their case,” said the Bangladeshi law minister, Shafique Ahmed.

    Despite the overwhelming public opinion in support of the trial, there are some bottlenecks.

    Fair trial doubts

    The leader of Jamaat-e-Islami is accused of more than 50 killings during the war.
    First of all, this tribunal is almost a domestic set-up and the three judges sitting on the tribunal are from Bangladesh. The United Nations and other international agencies do not have any major role to play.

    Human rights groups said some of the rules were not consistent with international standards, as followed by war crimes tribunals in Rwanda or Cambodia.

    “Bangladesh has promised to meet international standards in these trials, but it has some way to go to meet this commitment,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement issued earlier this year.

    Defence counsels also complained about a lack of time for their team to prepare for the case. They also argued that Bangladesh didn’t have the expertise to try war crimes, so the trials could not be fair.

    “Both prosecution and defence do not have sufficient training in a trial of this magnitude,” argued Abdur Razaaq, a senior lawyer for the accused and also a leader of the Jamaat.

    “Our legal infrastructure is also not adequate to handle this case. So, how we can expect a fair trial?”

    ‘Culture of impunity’
    However, the government vehemently argued that it had enough legal expertise and manpower to conduct the trial. It promised that there would not be any political interference or revenge.

    Despite the debate over whether or not the tribunal meets international standards, there is broad agreement in the country that the trial is long overdue. The consequences are likely to be severe if it doesn’t go ahead this time.

    “The trial will put an end to the culture of impunity, said Aly Zaker, an eminent writer and director.

    “If not, the peace and harmony which the people of Bangladesh are trying to practise can be totally destroyed. So this trial is very important for our country and our people,” he said.

  5. Bangladesh: Muslims vandalize Hindu temples

    As noted just yesterday, these are more fruits of the partition of Muslim territories from India. The religious cleansing of those regions continues. “Bangladesh: JeI activists vandalise Hindu temples,” from ZeeNews, February 11 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

    New Delhi: Fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami activists vandalised several Hindu temples in the Hathazari area of Chittagong in Bangladesh on Thursday and Friday, forcing the law enforcement authorities to impose Section 144 of the Bangladesh Penal Code that bans public gatherings in the affected area.
    According to the website, Muslims, allegedly instigated by the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, first damaged a temple in the compound of the Loknath Sebasram at Nandirhat on Thursday evening and blocked the Chittagong-Rangamati Road on Friday morning in retaliation to a mosque being damaged by people coming out of the Loknath Sebasram.

    The website report further said that at least three other Hindu temples were attacked by the Islamic activists.

    It said that damage was inflicted on the Sri Sri Jagadeshwari Ma Temple, the Jagannath Bigroho Temple at Nandirhat and the Kalibari Temple in Sadar Upazila. The Sri Sri Jagadeshwari Ma Temple was also burnt, it added.

    The Primary and Mass Education Minister of Bangladesh, Afsar-ul-Ameen, has visited the area and instructed local authorities to take steps to normalise the situation.

    Local administration officials blamed the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir, for the incidents.

    Reacting to the incident, liberal and secular minded people in Bangladesh said such events could pose a threat to the country’s secular fabric.

    Haroon Habib, a 1971 war veteran and a senior journalist, told ANI in a telephonic interview that: “These are very tragic events. Bangladeshis were never communal even under military rule. People must see a definite political motive behind these events.”

    He added: “There is a definite extremist political agenda behind these attacks. There are elements who want to destabilise the incumbent Hasina Government.”

    Haroon also blamed the local administration for not acting tough against fundamentalist elements in the area.

    Allegations have it that houses belonging to Hindus in the area were also vandalised. Leaders of the minority Hindu community have blamed the ”indifference” of the administration for the prevailing situation….

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