» 07/16/2013, 00.00
Violence erupts in Bangladesh after verdict against former Islamic leader
90 year-old Ghulam Azam sentenced to 90 years in prison for war crimes. The verdict sparks explosions, clashes and scenes of urban warfare all over Bangladesh for national hartal (strikes) organized by supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party) and secular activists of Gonojagoron Mancha. Four people die, including a child.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Four dead,
including a 9 year old girl and dozens of wounded, buses, shops and private
cars vandalized and set on fire. This is the provisional toll from the National
hartal (strike) called in Bangladesh, after the verdict issued yesterday by the
International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka. The
court sentenced 91 year old Islamist leader and former president of
Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party), Ghulam Azam to 90 years in jail, for his role
in the crimes committed during the Independence War (1971). A
ruling that left everyone unhappy: the supporters of the Jamaat, are demanding
their leaders absolution, Gonojagoron Mancha civil rights activists instead say
the sentence is too light and call for the death penalty.
The courts have recognized Azam
guilty of all the charges: murder, torture of unarmed people, conspiracy,
incitement and complicity in genocide. Being
91, by law the judges spared Ghulam the death penalty.
there were demonstrations inside and outside the courtroom. Gonojagoron
Mancha activists gathered in Shahbagh, district of Dhaka considered the
"Tahrir Square" of Bangladesh, calling for the death penalty. Today
both the Islamic party that secular movement have called for a hartal, which
as expected has turned into urban warfare.
of Jamaat and Islami Chhatra Shibir (student wing of the party), detonated 11
homemade bombs in Chittagong, nine in Comilla and one in Narayanganj. Of
the four deaths, two are students of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, killed in clashes
with the police. The
others are a 60 year old man, who was killed in Dinajpur by bricks thrown by
some picketers, and a 9 year old girl, knocked down in Gazipur by a bus trying to
flee the violence.
Bangladesh, Islamic Party leader gets death sentence
A special court has found Motiur Rahman Nizami, 71, guilty of genocide, murder, torture and rape. The crimes were committed during the war of liberation from Pakistan in 1971. Fear of further violence after the ruling.
Catholic Bishop calls on political leaders to talk and stop death and violence
Mgr Gervas Rozario, bishop of the Diocese of Rajshahi, told AsiaNews that "the killing of innocent civilians is intolerable" and that "people want peace." For this reason, he has called on the government and the opposition to find ways to communicate. Since January this year, 347 people have died in political unrest.
Strike causes “holiday” in Bangladesh but also impoverishes people
Schools and factories will close and imports and exports slow down. Wage earners and self-employed workers will suffer alike. Opposition Islamic parties call for a two-phase general strike (hartal) on Wednesday and Thursday and then Sunday and Monday. The two days in-between are a holiday. The labour action is organised to protest against the 15th amendment of the constitution, which would make it impossible to have a caretaker government and would abolish the obligation to have “absolute faith in Allah”.
Islamic parties "booming" in Bangladesh
The country's intelligence services and Election Commission have noted a significant increase in the number of Islamic parties and organisations over the past 27 years. Some analysts warn that the country might be entering a phase leading to the election of an Islamic government.
Islamist leader sentenced to death, but Bangladesh continues downward spiral
The war crimes tribunal rules Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, secretary general of the Islamist party, guilty of torture and mass murder. Supporters invoke nationwide strikes. Local source tells AsiaNews: "These political struggles are harmful to the population, the people are not in favour of extremism."
CHINA – VATICAN
Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church
After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.
INDIA – PHILIPPINES
Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist
Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."
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