Dhaka grounds suspected 1971 war criminals


Senior Member
Feb 23, 2009
Dhaka grounds suspected 1971 war criminals

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DHAKA: Bangladesh has barred war crimes suspects in the 1971 war from leaving the country ahead of a planned trial, a government minister said on Monday.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said the government is preparing to try those accused of collaborating with Pakistani troops and helping them in killings, rape, arson and looting during the war. He said the immigration authorities have been given a list of the suspects to stop them from traveling overseas. He refused to say who or how many people were on the list.

“What I can tell you is that those who have committed crimes against humanity during the 1971 war must be put on trial,” Ahmed said. “The process of starting the trial has already begun.” Ahmed did not provide further details. ap



Travel ban on Bangladesh suspects

By Mark Dummett
BBC News, Dhaka
03:30 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

The government of Bangladesh has banned people suspected of war crimes during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan from travelling abroad.

It says these people, who are accused of collaborating with Pakistani troops, will face war crime trials.

Among them are leaders of the largest religious party Jamaat-i-Islami - a rival of the ruling Awami League.

Critics say it is a ploy to destroy Jamaat-i-Islami, none of whose leaders has been charged with any crimes.

But two party leaders have already been prevented from leaving Bangladesh.

One of them told the BBC he had not been given any reason for this, and that the government was violating his fundamental rights.

'Last chance'

The Awami League came to power in December, promising to tackle the issue which has haunted and divided Bangladesh since independence.

The new government says it wants to punish those who helped the Pakistan army's brutal attempt to hang on to what was then Pakistan's eastern province.

The government says some three million civilians died and 200,000 women were raped.

The Pakistan army was blamed for most atrocities. But local militias, some allegedly linked to the religious party, Jamaat-i-islami, were accused of helping them.

Many collaborators were jailed, but the issue was quietly dropped as consecutive governments preferred not to reopen old wounds.

Awami League supporters say the government's pledge is the last chance for the generation which lived through the war to see justice.


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