Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed

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Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed
আলী আহসান মুহাম্মদ মুজাহিদ
Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.jpg
Mojaheed at 2010 public meeting
Born(1948-06-23)23 June 1948
Died22 November 2015(2015-11-22) (aged 67)
Cause of deathHanging (Capital punishment)
Resting placeKabashpur, Faridpur
NationalityBangladeshi
OccupationPolitics, War criminal
EmployerSecretary General
Organization Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Al Badr
Known forPolitics, War crimes
TitleMember of the Parliament and Minister of Social Welfare
Term2001–2006
Political party Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh
Criminal charge(s)34 counts of charges including genocide, conspiracy in killing intellectuals, torture and abduction during 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Criminal penalty Capital punishment [1]
Criminal statusHanged to death

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed (Bengali : আলী আহসান মুহাম্মদ মুজাহিদ; 23 June 1948 – 22 November 2015) was a former Bangladeshi politician [6] who served as a Member of Parliament and as the Minister of Social Welfare from 2001 to 2007 of Bangladesh and was convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh. He received death penalty by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh on 22 November 2015, becoming one of the world's first Ministers to be hanged. [7] He was second in command of the infamous paramilitary force, Al-Badr in 1971, which committed war crimes at that time. [8] [9] Until his death, he was the Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. [4] [5] [8] [10] On 17 July 2013, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed was found guilty of war crimes such as genocide, conspiracy in helping to kill intellectuals and abduction during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh by the International Crimes Tribunal-2 and sentenced him to death for 2 of the 7 charges brought against him. [1] [2] [3] High Court rejected his review petition on 18 November 2015.

Contents

Early life

Mojaheed was born in 1948, in Faridpur district. His father, Mohammad Ali, an Islamic scholar, was a member of the Peace Committee during the Liberation War with alleged involvement in crimes against humanity. After the liberation of Bangladesh, he was acquitted by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from trials on request of local Awami League leaders. [11] After completing schooling from Faridpur, Mojaheed took admission to the Dhaka University in 1970. [12]

Political career

During the Liberation war

In 1968, Mojaheed became the Faridpur district president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (Urdu: Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba). [12] In 1970, he took admission at the Dhaka University. On moving to Dhaka, he became the Dhaka district president of the Islami Chhatra Sangha. [12] Around August–September 1970 Mojaheed became the Secretary of the East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha, the provincial wing of the Nikhil Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha. [12] In October 1971, he was elected the president of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha. [13] On 17 October, Mojaheed addressed an Islami Chhatra Sangha meeting at Rangpur, where he directed the students to join the Al Badar. [14]

The prosecutors at the International Crimes Tribunal in their formal charge stated that Mojaheed took over as the supreme commander of the Al Badar forces from Motiur Rahman Nizami in October 1971. [13] He was accused by the prosecution of having led a group that looted around 300–350 Hindu houses and killed around 50–60 Hindus in May 1971. [15] On the occasion Mojaheed put forward a four-point declaration. He allegedly stated that he did not recognise Hindustan as a sovereign state. The Al Badr shall not rest till Hindustan is erased from the map of the world. He also allegedly forbade the selling, publicising or keeping books either written by the Hindus or written in favour of them. [14]

Post war

Mojaheed contested the parliamentary elections in 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008. Except for 2001, he lost in all the elections. [12] Between 2001 and 2006, he was the Minister of Social Welfare.

War crimes trial

Prosecution

The trial of Mojaheed at the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh began on 19 July 2012. On 11 December 2011, the prosecution submitted before the tribunal, pressing 34 counts of charges against Mojaheed. The tribunal indicted Mojaheed on two counts of genocide against the Bengali Hindus and five counts of crimes against humanity for killing, forced deportation, abduction, torture and arson. [12] Among the victims listed in the charges was Serajuddin Hossain, who was the executive editor of The Daily Ittefaq in 1971. [12]

Opposition parties and human rights groups alleged political interference in the trial, given that all the accused were leading opposition politicians. [16] ICT have delivered its verdict on war crimes charges of Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed on 17 July 2013, two days after ICT-1 sentenced war criminal Ghulam Azam to 90 years in prison. [17]

Skype controversy

In late 2012, the ICT was the centre of a controversy after Skype conversations and e-mails between the head judge, Nizamul Huq and Ahmed Ziauddin, a Brussels-based lawyer were leaked. According to The Economist , the recordings and emails suggested that the Bangladesh Government pressured and attempted to intervene in the International Crimes Tribunal to speed proceedings up. The neutrality and independence of Huq was also called into question, as Ziauddin appeared to help him to prepare documents for the tribunal and make detailed recommendations for Huq, and informed Huq about how the prosecutors may develop their case while in contact with the prosecution. [18] Nizamul Huq later resigned from the post of head judge of the tribunal. [19]

Conviction

On 17 July 2013, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed was found guilty of war crimes such as genocide, conspiracy in killing intellectuals, torture and abduction during 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh by the International Crimes Tribunal-2 and was sentenced to death for 2 of the 5 charges brought against him. [1] [2] [3] [20] Mujaheed was found guilty on the charge related to the killing of Rumi, Badi, Jewel, Azad and Altaf Mahmud at the army camp set up in Nakhalpara, Dhaka, during the Liberation War. [21] Defence lawyer Abdur Razzaq claimed that this verdict was unfair. [22]

On 14 October 2015, Ahsan filed a review petition with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against the sentence. On 18 November 2015, the High Court of Bangladesh upheld the death sentence of Ali Ahsan, rejecting his pleas for reviewing death penalties. [23] According to jail officials and the Minister for Justice, Mojaheed asked for mercy in a petition to the President of Bangladesh, but his appeal was rejected. [24] [25] Although, his family claimed that he didn't ask for mercy to the president and it was a lie from the government. [26] [27]

Death

On 22 November 2015, 12:45 AM, GMT+6, Mojaheed was hanged at Dhaka Central Jail. [28] [29] The execution was reported by the Minister for Justice, Anisul Huq. [30] At the same time and place, another Bangladeshi politician, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, was hanged for war crime charges. Ahsan was buried at his hometown Faridpur after his namaz-e-janaza had held on Adarsha Academy's Ideal Madrasa ground at West Khabaspur of the town. [31] [32]

Reactions

Domestic reactions

Ahsan's party Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami offered funeral prayers in absentia on 22 November morning, and called for a strike across the country on 23 November 2015. [33]

Thirteen treasury bench of the Jatiyo Sangshad praised and congratulating the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for executing the two top war criminals of Bangladesh Liberation war. [34]

International reactions

Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan - In a statement from Pakistan Foreign Ministry said after the execution, "We have noted with deep concern and anguish the unfortunate executions of the Bangladesh National Party Leader, Mr Salauddin Quadir Chowdhury, and Mr Ali Ahsan Mojaheed. Pakistan is deeply disturbed at this development." [35]

See also

Related Research Articles

Ghulam Azam Bangladeshi politician

Ghulam Azam was a Bangladeshi Islamist politician and the former leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, a largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh.

Delwar Hossain Sayeedi is an Islamic speaker and politician who served as a Member of the Parliament of Bangladesh from 1996 to 2008. He was convicted of committing war crimes during and Bangladesh Liberation War, despite his denial. The International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh sentenced him to death in February 2013 for crimes against humanity in the war of 1971 in a disputed decision. His crimes included genocide, mass murder, rape and arson. The tribunal received support within Bangladesh, but was criticized by many international observers. In September 2014 the Supreme Court commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.

Motiur Rahman Nizami

Motiur Rahman Nizami was a war criminal, former Minister of Bangladesh, Islamic scholar, writer, the former leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and war criminal. He was the leader of the anti-Bangladesh militia group Al-Badr during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. On 29 October 2014, he was convicted and later executed for his role in masterminding the Demra massacre by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. He was the Member of Parliament for the Pabna-1 constituency from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006. He also served as the Bangladeshi Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Industry.

The Al-Badr was a paramilitary force composed mainly of Bihari Muslims which operated in East Pakistan against the Bengali nationalist movement during the Bangladesh Liberation War, under the patronage of the Pakistani government.

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was a Bangladeshi politician and journalist who served as the senior assistant secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and was convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh. He was executed by hanging at Dhaka Central Jail at 22:01 on 11 April 2015.

Shahriar Kabir

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Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury Bangladeshi politician

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury was a Bangladeshi politician, minister and six-term member of Jatiya Sangsad and member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Standing Committee, who served as the adviser of parliamentary affairs to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in from 2001 to 2006. On 1 October 2013 he was convicted of 9 of 23 charges and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh for crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence. He was put to death by hanging in Dhaka on 22 November 2015.

International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh)

The International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) is a domestic war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh set up in 2009 to investigate and prosecute suspects for the genocide committed in 1971 by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams during the Bangladesh Liberation War. During the 2008 general election, the Awami League (AL) pledged to try war criminals. The government set up the tribunal after the Awami League won the general election in December 2008 with a more than two-thirds majority in parliament.

International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh Timeline

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) is an ongoing tribunal in Bangladesh that aims to investigate and administer justice regarding the war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes against peace committed by Pakistan army and their local collaborators Razakar, Al-Badr, Al-Shams during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. In 2008's public election, one of the principal electoral manifesto of the Awami League was to initiate the trial process of war criminals. As promised, a member of parliament from Awami League submitted the proposal of the trial of war criminals on 29 January 2009 in National Parliament and the proposal was accepted unanimously. Finally after 39 years of Liberation of Bangladesh, on 25 March, the tribunal, attorney panel and investigation organization was formed for the trial of the ones accused of war crimes.

Char Bhadrasan massacre

Char Bhadrasan massacre refers to the massacre of unarmed Hindu residents in Char Bhadrasan in Faridpur district by the Pakistani occupation army and the Razakars in the middle of May, 1971. Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami led a team of Razakars and Pakistani army to the Hindu dominated villages of Baidyadangi, Majhidangi and Baladangi where they massacred 50-60 unarmed Bengali Hindus. The attackers set fire to 300-350 Hindu households forcing them to flee the country.

Abul Kalam Azad is a former Bangladeshi politician of the Jamaat-e-Islami, televangelist and convicted war criminal of the Bangladesh liberation war.

Abdul Quader Molla was a Bangladeshi Islamist leader, writer, and politician of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, who was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICT) set up by the government of Bangladesh and hanged. There were objections from the United Nations, the governments of several countries, including Turkey, and international Human rights organizations but on the other hand there was widespread support from the general people of Bangladesh for the execution.

2013 Shahbag protests

On 5 February 2013, protests began in Shahbag, Bangladesh following demands for capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and convicted on five of six counts of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. Later demands included banning the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party from politics including election and a boycott of institutions supporting the party.

Ashrafuz Zaman Khan is one of the convicted masterminds of 1971 killing of Bengali intellectuals. In 1971, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Islami Chhatra Sangha. After liberation he went to Pakistan and worked for Radio Pakistan. Later, he moved to New York and presently heads the Queens branch of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). He was sentenced to death in absentia by the International War Crimes Tribunal for killing 18 Bengali intellectuals during the last days of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

2013 Bangladesh anti-Hindu violence

On 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked Hindus in different parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire. While the government has held the Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for the attacks on minorities, the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership has denied any involvement. Minority leaders have protested the attacks and appealed for justice. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has directed law enforcement to start suo motu investigation into the attacks. The US Ambassador to Bangladesh expressed concern about attacks by Jamaat on the Bengali Hindu community.

Mir Quasem Ali Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami politician

Mir Quasem Ali was a Bangladeshi businessman, philanthropist and politician. He was a former director of Islami Bank, and chairman of the Diganta Media Corporation, which owns Diganta TV. He founded the Ibn Sina Trust and was a key figure in the establishment of the NGO Rabita al-Alam al-Islami. He was considered to be the wealthiest member of the Bangladeshi political party Jamaat-e-Islami. He was sentenced to death on 2 November 2014 for crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 by International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. The charges were denied by his relatives, stating they were politically motivated. Rights groups also raised concerns about these cases, with Amnesty International criticising the use of the death penalty and saying Mir Quasem Ali's trial had been unfair. He was hanged at Gazipur on 3 September 2016 after his final appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.

Md. Shakhawat Hossain, better known as Maulana Shakhawat, is a Bangladeshi politician. He represented the Jessore-6 constituency as a Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and a Bangladesh Nationalist Party member in the 5th and 6th Jatiya Sangsad respectively. He later served as the Presidium Member of Jatiya Party.

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