War crime charges
Probe against Jamaat beginsTaposh Kanti Das
The war crimes investigation agency on Sunday launched investigation into the alleged war crimes committed by the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party during the country’s war of independence in 1971.
The investigation agency chief coordinator, Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, told New Age on Sunday that the agency assigned its member Matiur Rahman for the investigation.
‘We had the preparation from beforehand for launching the investigation to find Jamaat’s involvement as a political party in the war crimes in the war of independence in 1971. We have given the order for investigation today,’ said Hannan Khan.
The International Crimes Tribunal 1, in its judgement in which it jailed former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam for 90 years, had said, ‘Taking the contextual circumstances coupled with documentary evidence into consideration, we are led to observe that Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party under the leadership of accused Prof Ghulam Azam intentionally functioned as a ‘criminal organisation’ especially during the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.’
The judgement had said, ‘In the interest of establishing a democratic as well as non-communal Bangladesh, we observe that no such anti-liberation people should be allowed to sit in the helm of Executives of the Government, social or political parties including government and non-government organisations.’
In the judgement, the tribunal had also said, ‘We are of the opinion that the Government may take necessary steps to that end for debarring those anti-liberation persons from holding the said superior posts in order to establish a democratic and non-communal country for which millions of people sacrificed their lives during the War of Liberation.’
Under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, the government formed the first international crimes tribunal, investigation agency and a prosecution team on March 25, 2010 for the trial of 1971 war crimes. Another tribunal, the International Crimes Tribunal 2 was constituted on March 22, 2012 as the number of cases increased.
A total of ten top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami are facing trail in the tribunals. Five of them have already been convicted of crimes against humanity and genocide and sentenced either to death or imprisonment for life-time and 90 years.
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