30 killed after Islamist ordered hanging

2013-02-28 20:49
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Dhaka - At least 30 people were killed in Bangladesh in a wave of violence on Thursday as Islamists reacted furiously to a ruling that one of their leaders must hang for war crimes during the 1971 independence conflict.

At least 22 of them were shot in clashes between police and protesters that erupted after Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the Jamaat-e-Islami party's vice president, was found guilty of war crimes, including murder, arson and rape.

Sayedee is the third person to be convicted by the controversial domestic tribunal whose previous verdicts have also been met with outrage from Islamists who say the process is more about score settling than delivering justice.

Thursday's death toll was compiled by AFP after talking to police in the 13 districts where protests turned deadly.

The latest clashes brought the overall death toll to 46 since the first verdict was delivered on 21 January.

Among Thursday's dead were four policemen, two of whom were beaten to death after thousands of protestors hurled small homemade bombs at a police station in Gaibandha in Bangladesh's north and attacked it with sticks, local police chief Monjur Rahman told AFP.

"At least 10 000 Jamaat supporters attacked us. We were forced to open fire," Rahman said.

About 300 people, including scores of policemen, were also injured, doctors, police and local media said.

Police also reported attacks on several Hindu homes and temples by Islamists in the southern Noakhali district.

Security forces had been braced for trouble ahead of the verdict against Sayedee, who reacted to the judgment by saying it had been influenced by "atheists" and pro-government protesters who have been demanding his execution.

Firebrand preacher

Sayedee, now best known in Bangladesh as a firebrand preacher, was convicted for setting ablaze 25 houses in a Hindu village and abetting the murders of two people including a Hindu man, according to a copy of the verdict.

He led a pro-Pakistani militia who abducted three Hindu sisters and raped them for three days at a Pakistani camp.

He also forced at least 100 Hindus to convert to Islam and made them say Islamic prayers.

His lawyer Tajul Islam described the verdict as "a gross miscarriage of justice", adding that Sayedee did not live in the town at the time when the alleged crimes took place.

"It's a case of mistaken identity. We're stunned. We're going to appeal the verdict," he told AFP.

Under a newly amended war crimes law, the appeal process must be completed within 90 days, meaning Sayedee would be hanged later this year if the country's highest court upholds the verdict.

Protesters at a central Dhaka intersection erupted in jubilation as news of Sayedee's sentence filtered through.

"We've been waiting for this day for the last four decades," a protester told Somoy TV.

There was no immediate reaction from Jamaat to the verdict, but the party has enforced a nationwide strike demanding a halt to the trials. The cases against eight more Jamaat leaders are still being heard.

Life imprisonment

Earlier this month, the tribunal - a local court with no international oversight - sentenced Jamaat's assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Molla to life imprisonment.

While angering Jamaat supporters, that verdict also enraged secular protesters, tens of thousands of whom have since poured onto the Shahbag intersection in central Dhaka to demand the execution of Jamaat leaders.

In January the tribunal handed down its first verdict when it sentenced fugitive Muslim TV preacher Maolana Abul Kalam Azad to death.

The tribunal has been tainted by controversies and allegations that it is targeting only the opposition with trumped-up charges. Rights groups say its legal procedures fall short of international standards.

The government rejects the accusations, saying the trials are needed to heal the wounds of the war that it says killed three million people.

It accuses Jamaat leaders of being part of pro-Pakistani militias blamed for much of the 1971 carnage.

The government says three million were killed but independent estimates put the figure much lower, between 300 000 and 500 000.

Read more on:    bangladesh
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.