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Friday, March 1, 2013

BANGLADESH | Islamist sympathizers against security forces More than 30 killed during protests against a judgment in Bangladesh


The sentencing to death of a leader of the largest Islamic party in Bangladesh for war crimes committed during the conflict with Pakistan in 1971 sparked Thursday violent protests that left at least 31 dead and many injured, local media reported. According to the Independent Television, many activists of the student wing of the party Jamaat-i-Islami , were shot dead by police. Also killed a leader of the Awami League, in government, in an attack allegedly by activists of Jamaat. According to the police officer Manjur Rahman, two members of the security forces killed by protesters lynched. After the incidents, Jamaat-e-Islami spoke of 50 dead and called a general strike of 48 hours and a protest on Sunday against the police action. Delawar Hossain Sayedee, 73, vice president of the opposition party Jamaat-i-Islami, was convicted by a special court for their involvement in murder, looting, rape, arson and forced conversions of Hindus to Islam during the war of independence. His lawyer said he would appeal the sentence. ATM Fazle Kabir Judge announced the verdict in his presence and amid tight security, due to the general strike called by the opposition party, which demanded the release of the accused. Upon hearing the sentence, the Islamist party supporters took to the streets to protest in several cities and clashed with police. Protesters torched a railway bridge linking the capital Dhaka with the port city of Chittagong , which forced the closure of the route to traffic for two hours. The court and sentenced to death in absentia former party leader Abdul Kalam Azad for his involvement in the same crimes. In early February, the deputy secretary general of the Islamist party, Abdul Quader Mollah , was sentenced to life imprisonment. The pro-government protesters carry four weeks in the streets calling for the death penalty for all war criminals and banning the party. They face Islamist demonstrators, who criticize the trial of 13 suspected war criminals to consider impeachment. Groups human rights advocates also expressed concern about the fairness of the process. The present Bangladesh was part of Pakistan after the end of the British colony in 1947. In 1971 began a war for independence with the help of India. According to historians killed between 300,000 and three million people.

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