Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Bangladesh seeks answers over its bloody birth

Last year Amnesty International backed calls for an investigation into the war crimes allegations, and the demand for trials gained momentum during last year's election, particularly among first-time voters born after the war.
by Staff Writers
Dhaka (AFP) March 25, 2009
Bangladeshis celebrating their national independence day Thursday believe that the men guilty of horrendous crimes during the 1971 liberation war may now finally be brought to justice.

The alleged war criminals -- who sided with what was then West Pakistan -- committed brutal murder, rape and arson as they fought against East Pakistan's struggle to become the independent country of Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's pledge to try the suspects helped her secure election victory in December, and she has already asked for the UN to help set up tribunals similar to those in Cambodia and Rwanda.

This week her government said it had prepared a list of those it wanted to try, and banned them from leaving Bangladesh.

It has not disclosed the identities, or number, of those on the list, though a privately-funded committee recently named 1,775 likely suspects.

Imtiaz Ahmed, a professor of international relations at Dhaka University, said that while the promise of trials helped bring Hasina to power, she faced many problems in pushing the proposal through.

"The amount of time needed to hold a war crimes trial is huge," said Ahmed. "The process must be impartial, scientific and professional."

The suspects are thought to include leaders of the country's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, who are accused of links with the pro-Pakistani forces behind the wartime killings.

Hasina's Awami League party has long accused Jamaat members of being war criminals, and for the prime minister the issue is also a deeply personal one.

Her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman -- the country's founding president -- led the independence movement but was unable to put the war criminals on trial before his assassination in 1975.

Most of the suspects he wanted to try were set free and Bangladesh has since struggled to come to terms with its bloody birth and the break-up of the subcontinent's Muslim homeland.

Last year Amnesty International backed calls for an investigation into the war crimes allegations, and the demand for trials gained momentum during last year's election, particularly among first-time voters born after the war.

Jamaat spokesman Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, who is thought by many to feature among the suspects, said the government was simply seeking "political mileage."

"The government has made war crime trials a politically motivated issue. It should be transparent and sincere," he said.

Shymoli Nasreen Chowdhury, now 67, was just 29 when her husband, one of the country's leading eye specialists, was killed in the closing days of the war.

Alim Chowdhury's mutilated body was found two days after fighting ended in late 1971, along with the bullet-riddled bodies of dozens of intellectuals and academics who supported Bangladesh's fight for independence.

For her, a war crimes trial cannot come soon enough.

She said that for the first time in many years she would celebrate independence day, which marks the beginning of the nine-month war in 1971, with some hope that justice would at last be done.

"I know who killed my husband but all these years there was no effort to bring them to justice. It's not just me I want justice for, it's the whole country. We have waited too long to see these butchers punished."

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Michigan teenager dies after police Taser him
Washington (AFP) March 23, 2009
A 15-year old boy died Sunday in Michigan after police used a Taser stun gun to subdue him, police said Monday.

  • China chemical factory cave-in kills 11: state media
  • Australian navy helps oil spill efforts
  • Lessons From Hurricane Rita Not Practiced During Ike
  • Main Federal Disaster Relief Law Has Fallen Behind Modern Threat Levels

  • Greenpeace urges China's Hu on climate change
  • White House reviewing greenhouse gas dangers: report
  • Tokyo declares cherry blossom season open
  • Phytoplankton Is Changing Along The Antarctic Peninsula

  • Space Technology Monitors Heavy Mining Machines
  • India Set To Launch Imaging Satellite With Israeli Support
  • Nuclear technology tracks Caribbean pollution
  • SciSys Software Sees Cyber Model Of GOCE Turn Into Orbital Model

  • Analysis: Brazil oil strike continues
  • PetroChina profit falls 22 percent in 2008
  • China raises petrol, diesel prices: state media
  • Portuguese wave-power snake dead in the water

  • HIV patients dying of TB
  • Contagious disease spreads among China infants: state media
  • Drug-resistant TB on the rise in Asia: WHO
  • China seeks volunteers for AIDS vaccine trials: report

  • Fossil Fragments Reveal 500-Million-Year-Old Monster Predator
  • China fights gerbil plague with 'the pill'
  • Komodo dragon kills man in Indonesia: police
  • Animal activists slam plans for Malaysian tiger park

  • How Air Pollution Causes Heart Disease
  • Authorities Still Unprepared For Oil Spills 20 Years After Exxon Valdez
  • Lethal air pollution booms in emerging nations
  • Hong Kong moves to send plastic bags packing

  • Optimum Running Speed Is Stride Toward Understanding Human Body Form
  • Bangladesh seeks answers over its bloody birth
  • There Are Just Eight Patterns That Cause Of All Humor
  • Michigan teenager dies after police Taser him

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement