Friday, 11 December 2015

War crimes: Of Bangladesh and long shadows



Facebook has been restored in Bangladesh, after a three-week shutdown following the hanging of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid for war crimes during the country’s bloody struggle for independence from Pakistan 44 years ago.

A special war crimes tribunal had found Chowdhury guilty of 9 charges including genocide, arson and persecuting people on religious and political grounds. While Mujahid was convicted of 5, including abduction and murder.

Both were prominent opposition politicians. A senior figure in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Chowdhury had been elected an MP 6 times. Mujahid, an Islamist, was social welfare minister from 2001 to 2006. Both men maintained their innocence.


The tribunal was set up in 2010 by the current government, following an election pledge to bring murderers to justice, but human rights groups argue the men were not given a fair trial.

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