Bangladesh investigators press war crime charges against Islamic leader, accusing him of genocide, murder and rape during the bloody war of independence in 1971 on Monday.
Bangladesh chief prosecutor Ghulam Arif Tipu accused Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayedee, a senior leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, has been also accused of “crimes against humanity, looting, arson and forcible conversion to Islam.” This is first charge against a war criminal since Bangladesh was born four decades ago.
Tipu said that investigators of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) have completed probe and submitted a 4,074-page report. The probe has found compelling evidences of war crimes.
Sayedee is detained along with other seven other war crime suspects from his Jamaat-e-Islami party and from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The opposition argues that the government is marginalizing
The war crimes tribunal, a special court created two years ago to try people suspected of atrocities during the independence from Islamic Pakistan, will hold a hearing on Thursday to decide whether the charges will be taken into cognizance.
The official liberation war documents claim that nearly three million people were killed during the nine-month long struggle and another 400 thousand women were sexually abused by marauding Pakistan army and their armed militia mostly recruited from youths of Islamic religious groups.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Human Rights Watch on Tuesday said the amendments to the rules of procedure for the International Crimes Tribunal have failed to international standards.
The international rights group has said the changes are needed in areas such as requirements for a clear articulation of the crimes, the due process rights of the accused, and victim and witness protection, the organization writes on its website.
Bangladesh law minister Shafique Ahmed on June 19 said the trial of two Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, among the seven charged could begin in July. “The rest may face trial in August,” the technocrat minister commented.
“We want these trials to succeed in bringing the people responsible for the horrific crimes of 1971 to justice,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of the organization.