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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

EXPATRIATE BANGLADESHIS DEMAND DEATHS TO WAR CRIMINALS


A group of Bangladeshi expatriates demonstrate in Washington on March 24, 2013 to protest against Bangladesh's war criminals and the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami.

From Ataur Rahman

Dhaka, Mar 25 : Bangladeshis living in countries around the world have demonstrated in favour of death penalty of those who committed crimes during country's Liberation War in 1971, reports reaching here said.


    It said Bangladeshi expatriates staged rallies in around 40 cities across the world simultaneously demanding death penalty to war criminals. The rallies were held expressing solidarity with the Shahbagh movement that began on February 5 demanding capital punishment to war criminals.



    The report said  such rallies were held in nearly two dozen cities in the United States, the country that sided with Pakistan in opposing Bangladesh's independence.



    Apart from  USA,  such rallies were organised in Canada, in Europe, in Australia, in Asia and in Cape Town of South Africa.  Organized by expatriate Bangladeshi students, Bangladeshi expatriates from different walks of life took part in the rallies.



    The organizers said they were working to create awareness in favour of war crimes trials.



    Two International Crime Tribunal are trying 11 war criminals and so far announced verdict of three accused persons.



    Meanwhile the peaceful mass movement that began on February 5 at Shahbagh in the city by youths demanding capital punishment to all war criminals entered 49th day today .The movement resumed its activities at Shahbagh in the afternoon after some days of holding rallies away from here in different parts of the city and also outside the capital.



    The organizers of the movement had on February 21 announced a six point charter of demand that included taking legal steps by the government for banning politics of Jamaat and Shibir by March 26. But so far there is no concrete action from the government in this regard even though ruling party leaders favor such ban. Organizers of Shahbagh Ganojagaron Mancha are focusing on building up new networks and strengthen old ones and spread the movement upto grassroots to realize their demand.  

     

     Earlier in the morning Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina renewed her determination to finish the war crimes trials regardless of all the hurdles.“The country must be free from this disgrace. We will do that by trying the war criminals,” she told a function to honour people for their contributions in different field. Expressing her belief in tackling all  kinds of challenge in this field she spoke of her confidence in finishing the trials of the suspected war criminals to ‘free the nation from the taint’. “Many attempts are being carried out to obstruct these trials,” Hasina said referring to various agitational program being enforced by BNP and Jamaat.



     She also showed gratitude towards the neighbouring and friendly countries including India who had assisted Bangladesh in many ways during the 1971 Liberation War. It was India which gave shelter to nearly one crore Bangladeshis who fled to save from the atr5ocities of the occupation army and their collaborators- the Razakars.

             “Today is March 25. The Pakistani occupation forces had attacked the innocent, unarmed Bengalis on the dark night of March 25 in 1971. They killed people indiscriminately. And then Bangabandhu [Sheikh Mujibur Rahman] declared independence in the wee hours of March 26. We achieved independence on December 16 after fighting for nine months,” she added.

 





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