» 02/15/2013, 00.00
Shahbagh, Bangladesh's 'Tahrir Square', against war crimes
Sumon Francis Gomes
Hundreds of thousands of people in Dhaka want the death penalty for members of the Islamic party involved in massacres, torture and rape during the War of Independence (1971). Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami supporters wreck havoc in the city.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - For
the past ten days, hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated against the
Jamaat-e-Islami party for war
crimes committed by its members dating
back to 1971. Last night, men and women of every age and social background held
a vigil in memory of the victims of the conflict in Shahbagh, a Dhaka
neighbourhood dubbed by many as Bangladesh's 'Tahrir Square' because never
before has civil society expressed so clearly its opposition to what happened
during the war of liberation.
The movement began online with bloggers and activists after Abdul Quader Mollah, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, was sentenced to life in prison for his
role in rapes, killings and torture during the war that led to Bangladesh's
independence from Pakistan. Quickly, the movement turned into mass protest after
Shahbagh was invaded after 5 February by people calling for the death penalty
for Mollah and other leaders.
According to Dipti Das, a former student at Dhaka
University and a member of the movement, "the nation cannot forget these
To make their protest
more effective, demonstrators have begun boycotting all commercial activities,
offices, banks and cultural circles associated with Jamaat-e-Islami.
continue with supporters of the Islamist party, which has challenged the court's
decisions on Jamaat's role in the war. On a regular basis, party
militants engage in hartal (strikes)
that often degenerate in violent incidents with police. In the latest case on
Wednesday, one person was killed.
Thousands of people rally against Islamic party and the political use of religion
People of different origins and social backgrounds rally together, reading passages from the sacred texts of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami supporters continue their rampage, accusing peaceful demonstrators of blasphemy.
Bangladesh: dozens killed in clashes between Islamists and police
The violence erupted after the sentencing to death of a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party), accused of war crimes in 1971. More than 800 injured. Among the victims, three policemen. Explosions in several neighborhoods of the capital, temples and houses burnt the Hindu community in the southeast. The Islamic religious authority in the country calls for calm.
About 150 people injured in anti-government protests
In four days, two general strikes hit the capital as police and demonstrators clash. Opposition parties are leading the protest movement demanding reforms in anticipation of next year's elections. Analysts tell AsiaNews that an agreement between the two sides will be difficult to reach and times ahead will be hard.
Islamist party gains on the coattails of Bangladesh Nationalist Party's victory
The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party sweeps the latest municipal elections thanks to the support of the Jamaat-e-Islami, whose anti-atheist propaganda against the ruling Awami League proves crucial.
Opposition "besieges" Dhaka, more than 500 people hurt
Opposition parties take to the streets demanding new electoral law and expulsion of Islamic fundamentalists from government, threatening to boycott upcoming elections. Prime Minister orders preventive arrests and deploys 18,000 policemen and paramilitary forces.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
25/04/2016 HONG KONG - CHINA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.