Bangladesh political leader indicted over 1971 war

Wheelchair-bound Azam pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him for two hours.


Afp May 13, 2012

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi special court on Sunday indicted a former opposition leader for alleged atrocities including genocide and murder during the nation's 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan.

Ghulam Azam, 89, the former head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, is accused of creating and leading pro-Pakistan militias which carried out many killings and rapes during the nine-month war.

Wheelchair-bound Azam pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him for two hours by Judge Nizamul Huq, who set June 5 as the start of the trial.

"The International Crimes Tribunal charged him with crimes against humanity, genocide, murder, rape, abduction, arson and other crimes under international law," state prosecutor Ziad Al Malum told AFP.

Azam is the third and most high profile opposition figure to have been charged since the government set up the tribunal in 2010 to try suspects.

Both Jamaat and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party have dismissed the court as a "show trial", while Human Rights Watch has said procedures used by the tribunal fall short of international standards.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh, which was called East Pakistan until 1971, has struggled to come to terms with its violent birth.

The government says up to three million people were killed in the war by the Pakistani army and local pro-Pakistan militias -- a figure disputed by independent historians.

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COMMENTS (8)

Lala Gee | 9 years ago | Reply @Mirza: "The SC would never give a day to Taseer, BB murder or atrocities in East Pakistan. Not a single army officer is ever found guilty of war crimes." I wish some day you write about the war crimes of your new home country USA and see where you end up. How many times the US SC took notice of the US Army war crimes. What the government of Pakistan Peoples Party doing in regard to Taseer and BB murder cases. Zardari and Rehmand Malik several times claimed about knowing the conspirators behind BB murder. What are they waiting for. Or, do they need assurance of another 5 years term before disclosing the names of the culprits.
Scorpio | 9 years ago | Reply

what aboutthe atrocities comitted onBiharis by the Mukti Bahini with the connivance of the State and Awami League thugs. Why is there no justice for them?

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