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  • » 07/16/2013, 00.00


    Violence erupts in Bangladesh after verdict against former Islamic leader

    Sumon Corraya

    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.

    Yesterday, 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.

    Activists 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.



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    See also

    29/10/2014 BANGLADESH
    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.

    05/09/2016 13:15:00 BANGLADESH
    Bangladesh hangs another Islamic Jamaat party leader

    Mir Quasem Ali was the main financier of the political movement. The Tribunal for war crimes confirmed 10 charges of 14 against him. He was among the collaborators who supported Pakistani soldiers in the conflict for the liberation of Bangladesh.

    04/12/2013 BANGLADESH
    Catholic Bishop calls on political leaders to talk and stop death and violence
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    04/07/2011 BANGLADESH
    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”.

    31/03/2017 10:17:00 BANGLADESH
    Sylhet siege ends with the suicide of the militants. The dead include a child

    The anti-terrorism agents surrounded the building for two days. The radicals chose suicide rather than surrender. In these hours other military operations are underway. The extremists belong to the outlawed group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

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