Adul Kalam Azad sentenced to death
Contributed by: Web Desk – Citizen Awareness Program
Abul Kalam Azad was a Pakistani who stood by his homeland when India and the Awami League/Mukti Bahini terror hordes unleashed enormous devastation on East Pakistan in 1971, committed barbaric racially-motivated atrocities against non-Bengalis as well as non-separatist Bengalis and amputated the Eastern wing of their own country. On January 21, 2013, Bangladesh’s farcical International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) sentenced him to death for protecting his country against Indian-sponsored secession. He is the first person to be convicted by the ICT, which can be more accurately called an inquisition than a trial.
In a tribunal that every news report is calling “controversial” for excellent reasons, he was sentenced to death for torture, rape and genocide. 11 more people will suffer shoddy trials with pre-determined guilty verdicts by this barbaric inquisition. He was tried and sentenced in absentia as allegedly he had already fled to Pakistan. This tribunal is universally recognized as a politically-motivated drama by which Sheikh Hasina Wajid is victimizing her political opponents. Her arch-rival Begum Khaleda Zia has called it a farce and a mockery and human rights organizations are saying the law under which the trials are taking place do not fulfill international standards of due process. The defense, witnesses and investigators have said they have all been threatened and harassed during the trials.
Bangladesh has shown that it has the same standards of justice as North Korea’s; as soon as Abul Kalam Azad reportedly fled to Pakistan just hours before the Bangladeshi equivalent of the Gestapo came to arrest him, they vented their anger by busting his two sons and a son-in-law instead. International human rights groups have condemned the conduct of the ICT, the defense has been harangued, a crucial defense witness has gone missing and Bangladeshi authorities are doing nothing to recover him, and the top presiding judge resigned just before the verdict was to be announced due to his communications with an overseas Bangladeshi lawyer that “raised serious questions about the workings of the tribunal.” Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman’s daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajid won the latest election in Bangladesh by a landslide under the promise to start this sham tribunal, and that shows the intensity of the Bengali nation’s mental illness, warped as their brainwashed minds are with irrational hatred that refuses to subside 4 decades on.
Abul Kalam Azad was a nationally-known televangelist who ran a TV program on Islam and Shariah for many years and was the chairman of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party, during the 1971 war. This party is accused of “collaborating” with the Pakistani army when it was defending East Pakistan and protecting its civilians against Indian and Awami League/Mukti Bahini aggression. The party denies having worked with the Pakistani security forces during that war. His state-appointed defense lawyer Abdus Shukur Khan has called the case “false,” telling AFP that “he was not involved in any of these crimes and was never named as a Pakistani collaborator in any of our war books.”
This inquisition has no United Nations oversight or involvement and the United States has said the laws under which it is being carried out fall short of international standards. Those racist Bangladeshis are trying to get what can only be called “dark justice” by conducting this drama in such a manner; there is no way on earth they can ensure their desired result by a free and fair trial and there is absolutely no possibility that their propaganda narrative can ever be validated by maintaining transparency in this joke of a tribunal.
This news report quotes the defense counsel, saying that the accused “did not get support from his family to present witnesses against the prosecution charges.” Without fairly allowing the accused or his defense counsel to fully defend themselves, the judges pronounced him “guilty of crimes against humanity beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“New York-based Human Rights Watch has complained about flaws in the process – including the disappearance of a defense witness outside the courthouse gates. The judge presiding over another tribunal resigned last month after the British publication The Economist reported that it had acquired transcripts of Skype and email conversations between him and a Belgium-based Bangladeshi lawyer that “raised serious questions about the workings of the tribunal.” When Begum Khaleda Zia called the ICT a farce Sheikh Hasina Wajid told her to stop backing those that she says fought against her father’s quest for “independence.”
Even more comical is that all of the accused have been allowed to participate in Bangladeshi politics for decades after the war; that makes it impossible for the inquisition not to be politically motivated. After all, Jamaat-e-Islami and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the parties the defendants are from, were part of past governments before Sheikh Hasina Wajid’s Awami League won the election of 2008. A Wikileaks cable revealed the Awami League hard-liners are out to crush Islamic parties in Bangladesh, so the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention passed an appropriate ruling on the matter. Though the international community condemned the ICT “with one voice,” those racist Bengalis lashed out at the world instead of doing any introspection. The defense lawyer Abdur Razzaq has explained that the Awami League is targeting Jamaat-e-Islami due to its ability to bring main parties into power through coalitions, calling the ICT “a show trial” charging the defendants “for political reasons.” The sentencing of Abul Kalam Azad has sparked mass strikes and turmoil, sparking fears of a military coup.
Shukho Ranjon Bali, a former prosecution witness who submitted an incriminating written testimony against another defendant named Delwar Hossain Sayeedi (without ever appearing in court himself), was about to testify in court that his previous testimony was made up by the prosecution when he suddenly disappeared on November 5, 2012. His confession would have had “a shattering effect” for the prosecution as it would have cast doubt over the credibility of the evidence brought before the inquisition so far.
Then presiding judge Nizamul Huq conducted private communication with a Belgium-based Bangladeshi lawyer, confessing a Bangladeshi government minister pressured him to pass a verdict as quickly as possible, and that the government is “absolutely crazy for a judgment. The government has gone totally mad. They have gone completely mad, I am telling you. They want a judgment by 16th December… It’s as simple as that.” That is why he was contacting that lawyer to get help in nailing down quick convictions and drawing up quick indictments. The Economist acquired 17 hours of Skype conversations and more than 200 emails between both individuals; the judge resigned days later on December 11, 2012, right when the first verdict was about to be pronounced. There is little wonder the defense lawyer Abdur Razzaq said this revelation “seriously questioned the integrity of the court, through executing interference of the highest degree,” adding much more that was not in The Economist’s custody could have contained further important truths. For citations of the above go to the link below:
The Economist published its blog based on those communications, explaining the motivation for a quick verdict and the possible reasons the judge engaged in this technically illegal communication. The Economist’s findings contradict what the judge and lawyer told it during their interviews; moreover, during the trial, regarding the roles played by both men, far beyond the realm of the law; “each particular accusation might appear to be modest, or might be explained away. Taken together, they suggest a disturbing pattern.”
The Economist’s revelations have raised serious concerns that are “so serious that there is a risk not only of a miscarriage of justice affecting the individual defendants, BUT ALSO THAT THE WRONGS WHICH BANGLADESH HAS ALREADY SUFFERED WILL BE AGGRAVATED BY THE FLAWED PROCESS OF THE TRIBUNAL. THAT WOULD NOT HEAL THE COUNTRY’S WOUNDS, BUT DEEPEN THEM.”
Instead of duly understanding these concerns in his capacity as the top judge over a landmark farcical trial, that same judge later reacted by summoning two members of the Economist to explain how they got the record of these communications, and soon afterward he resigned.
Later the Economist finally published its piece on this inquisition, showing what both men told it, how their statements contradict the content of the communications themselves as well as the relevant laws in place, and what particular questions they raise:
In the face of this embarrassing revelation, a red-faced ICT sued The Economist on the fantastically hypocritical charges of “interfering with the trial” and “violating the privacy of a judge by hacking in to his conversation with another barrister.” It also warned that publication not to publish the transcript of those communications under any circumstances. Even though the judge himself invited the interference of the barrister in question, he persecuted The Economist for exposing that interference. It should be noted that the controversial law under which the inquisition is being carried out allows judges to seek advice outside the country, but the overseas lawyer in question is a member of the ruling Awami League as well as head of the Belgium-based Bangladesh Center for Genocide Studies, which clearly shatters any possibility that he could have given the judge any impartial expertise; he obviously exerted undue influence on the trial and verdict. Along with the other general allegations, this news report also cites what it says is a “proven track of bias.”
The following article also gives great detail using extensive research showing that the ICT could not be anything but a kangaroo court, discussing all the issues raised elsewhere in this post:
This post also reveals what kind of flaws have been exposed by the said communications, saying that “in Bangladesh, those opposed to the government and who raise questions about the Tribunal process are attacked, often violently.” This shows that the Bangladeshi people have no interest in justice, only in getting the verdict they want, by hook or by crook. If proper standards of justice were ever applied, it is the Bangladeshis that would be found guilty of committing war crimes against Pakistan, and they know it; that is why they are going to such an extent to hide their own true face.
The judge Mohammed Nizamul Huq resigned after it emerged that the Brussels-based lawyer he was communicating with, Ahmed Ziauddin, was structuring judgments and coordinating with the prosecution. Both men talked about the pressure from the government for a quick judgment. This communication showed that the verdict was pre-determined. Even after this bombshell revelation the ICT pressed ahead with its show-trials instead of re-starting the case on the grounds of mistrial, as is the standard practice in every court of law on earth. The opposition parties are complaining that the ICT should have been dissolved after this news and that Awami League war criminals are not being tried by this inquisition. Other judges of this kangaroo court have similarly left the case and been replaced by new ones without a re-trial, which is strangely legal under the ICT Act 2009.
“MUCH OF THE TAPED CONVERSATION DEALS WITH THE NEED TO REASSURE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT THE TRIALS ARE BEING CONDUCTED BY INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS.” So far we have shown you that the Bangladeshis have done a lousy job at that; manufacturing a false conviction by a barbaric inquisition as the method of reassuring the world that the trials fall under international standards. Even more glaringly, the ICT has ordered a ban on any newspaper that would publish the transcripts of the said communication or articles on the matter.
These communications “have reignited a debate about whether developing countries like Bangladesh are able to conduct impartial war-crimes tribunals or should turn to international bodies such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague.” Even Stephen Rapp, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, complained during a November 2011 visit to Bangladesh that many of his earlier recommendations for the ICT had been ignored, especially citing the issue of witness protection.
As the ICT has ordered a ban on newspapers publishing the communications, one newspaper editor named Mahmudur Rahman has spent weeks in office to avoid arrest; he has also been threatened with prosecution. Amnesty International has denounced Bangladesh’s actions in this regard and stressed that “the government of Bangladesh must ensure that everyone, in particular journalists and editors, are free to express their views and opinion peacefully without being harassed, intimidated, detained or tortured.”
Kristine A. Huskey is an attorney and consultant on matters of national security law and policy and international humanitarian and human rights law, an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School, and a Fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. She and the American Society of International Law have voiced serious concerns over a number of things pertaining to the ICT: “there has also been sharp criticism of the ICT’s statutes, rules of procedure, and practices, as well as deep concern over a related amendment to the Bangladesh Constitution. Critics have pointed specifically to the lengthy pre-charge detention of suspects, interrogation without counsel present, inability to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal or make interlocutory appeals, lack of presumption of innocence, potential for self-incrimination, lack of protections for witnesses and victims, and overall lack of due process rights for defendants as just a few of the numerous infirmities present in the ICT. Further, many have characterized the Tribunal as politically motivated, adding to an atmosphere in Bangladesh that is already fraught with political tension.” They say justice can only be done if the procedure is universally seen as fair. For scathing critique of the ICT in great detail regarding all the aforementioned aspects, see the link below:
Human Rights Watch has blasted Bangladesh and the ICT for a number of things:
It raised issue with the mysterious disappearance of witness Shukho Ranjo Bali, who was about to wreck the prosecution’s case with an important testimony, saying “an allegation as serious as the abduction of a witness deserves prompt action, and a thorough and impartial investigation. Instead of ordering an independent investigation, the court asked a party in the case to investigate, and then blithely accepted its answer. This is an unacceptable way to respond to an allegation of an abduction. Where is Shukho Ranjon Bali?” It has also added that “finding out what happened in this case is essential to the credibility of the court and the entire war crimes trial process. If the defense was involved in a hoax it should face penalties. If Bali was abducted then his life may be in danger, and the court and government, by failing to investigate, are responsible for his fate.” He had earlier testified at another kangaroo trial as this HRW article shows:http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/11/13/bangladesh-investigate-alleged-abduction-war-crimes-witness
That witness was last seen in police custody and had disappeared on November 5, 2012 right at the gates of the courthouse. By January 17, 2013, he was still not recovered, and HRW is furious: “An allegation of an abduction is of the utmost seriousness since the person abducted is at great risk of being killed. The government should have immediately mobilized all available resources to find Bali, but has done nothing, making it appear at best indifferent to the welfare of one of its citizens.” On the actions taken regarding the disappearance it said that “asking an interested party in a case, namely the prosecution, to inquire into the abduction of a hostile witness and then simply accepting its answer, is not a serious response. We expect the government and its law enforcement agencies to mount an urgent, serious, and politically independent investigation to find Bali.” Some other glaring irregularities of the case have been exposed in this article:http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/16/bangladesh-find-abducted-witness
HRW also strongly condemned the harassment of the state-appointed defense lawyers at the hands of the state: “A raid by armed intelligence officers on the offices of defense lawyers without a warrant and for no discernible reason marks a very dangerous turn in an already flawed process. The Bangladeshi government needs to publicly condemn this action or risk the appearance of being responsible for this egregious violation of fair trial standards.” Moreover, the defense lawyer Abdur Razzaq “has been harassed, threatened with criminal charges, and reports ongoing surveillance of his home and office. Defense lawyers allege that they are often unable to bring witnesses to court because of threats and intimidation of witnesses by persons working for the prosecution.” The following published article also listed the particular flaws in the ICT Act, under which this unholy inquisition was set up, that need immediate rectification before a fair trial is possible:http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/10/17/bangladesh-end-harassment-war-crimes-defense-counsel
A year earlier too, HRW had taken strong notice of threats to the defense lawyers as well as deliberate obstructions of their work: “Harassment of defense counsel and witnesses further tarnishes a flawed process. If the Bangladeshi government wants these trials to be taken seriously it must ensure that the rights of the accused are fully respected. That means making sure that lawyers and witnesses don’t face threats or coercion.” It also noted that “the conduct of these trials will tell Bangladeshis and the world a great deal about the justice system in Bangladesh. The government needs to take swift action to make sure threats and harassment end.” Not only the defense lawyers but also their witnesses and journalists doing research for them have been threatened, as explained in this report that, among other things, condemns the state of witness protection in Bangladesh:http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/02/bangladesh-stop-harassment-defense-war-tribunal
Even the Bangladeshi Supreme Court Bar Association has expressed concern about the ICT as it has received strong criticism from all sides, saying “it is a show of trial as they (the government) are saying that it is their electoral pledge. War crimes trial must not be conducted to oppress opposition parties. The International Crimes Tribunal Act must be amended in conformity with international standard.”
Instead of answering all the above allegations, the Bangladeshis have responded by mud-slinging and swipes at the critics. The chairman of Bangladesh’s National Human Rights Commission Dr. Mizanur Rahman accused the international community of acting under the influence of Jamaat-e-Islami lobbyists. In fact when a foreign diplomat criticized the ICT for failing to fulfill international standards of justice, he retorted that “the trial in our country is being done in a national court and why you are raising the question of international standard?”
POINT TO BE NOTED: the Bangladeshi government’s OFFICIAL human rights agency is chaired by a callous fascist who proudly rejects international standards of justice and heinously defends the naked farce the world has exposed (and we have cited here). Is it any wonder that that country has proven to be such a spectacular failure in ensuring even the most basic demands of justice in a matter on which the credibility of its war-related claims – indeed, the integrity of the entire foundation upon which that nation exists – rested so heavily?
As you can see, the entire world understands that the Bangladeshi ICT is a kangaroo trial that is just a pet project of Sheikh Hasina Wajid’s to achieve political ends and tighten her grip on power. Not only the defense and opposition parties but also the global media, human rights organizations, foreign governments and the international community are calling this trial what it really is: a farce and a political stunt. It is important to note that over the last 41 years no international court ever tried or convicted any Pakistani for 1971 war-related crimes nor have any legal proceedings on this matter anywhere on earth concluded in favor of the Bengalis. The ONE AND ONLY way the Bangladeshis could possibly get a conviction was by means of a rigged kangaroo trial presided over by themselves!
If the Bangladeshis were trying to get justice and recognition from the world for whatever they claim they suffered in 1971, the manner in which they have run this charade has only left an egg on their own face and vindicated Pakistan even more fully. It only shows that Bengali allegations against Pakistan were artificially manufactured and constituted a blasphemy to the truth.
That shows clearly that everything they have told the world for over 40 years was all a pack of lies; none of their claims have ever stood the test of the law and international standards of justice; it was only good enough for inciting raw emotions that are the only way to govern that nation given the herd mentality that is an essential part of its national character. The Bangladeshi nation needs to draw a line under its history, not start new chapters teaching the world what kind of a mentally ill racist scum-bag nation it is. Bangladesh’s law minister Shafique Ahmed had assured that the ICT will be “a model for the entire world.” What a model this turned out to be! What a grotesque way the Bangladeshis have chosen to come to terms with their past!
The reason Bangladesh has so much trouble healing its birth pangs to this day while the rest of the world had moved on a long time ago is that it has had a chronic identity crisis: the entire foundation upon which that country exists is racism, not at all “liberation.” Until the Bangladeshi people accept this fact and shed the patriotic nonsense they have been brainwashed with ever since 1971, they will never be able to come to terms with their past and move on into the future: their pathological obsession with that war from the distant past continues to torment them in the present and has sealed their fate for the future. Until they accept who and what they really are as a nation, the one and only thing they will ever be able to do to (momentarily) relieve their pain will be to soothe their consciences by duping their future generations with patriotic hogwash, brutalizing the Bihari people then blaming them for it, and murdering people on drummed up charges through show-trials held in kangaroo courts.
Probably no other nation in the world has ever honored its founders in such a manner, but then again this is the nation that brutally murdered its own founding father Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman after dragging him out to his doorstep where his carcass lay rotting for several days. That is what the Bangladeshis call their “liberation.” And the outrage that took place on January 21, 2013 cannot be rationalized away as just the action of a single power-hungry vixen looking to run a one-woman show. The Bangaldeshis would like to have us believe that they attained their righteous “liberation” from an oppressive regime and became a “free” nation, and on top of that Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with a representative government elected by the mandate of the “free” people of a “liberated” nation, and that means every single Bangladeshi is responsible for what Sheikh Hasina Wajid is doing with this criminal inquisition. What she is doing with her pet project is exactly the one and only thing they elected her to do.
We have made many other posts exposing Bangladeshi lies regarding the 1971 war. All the war crimes blamed on Pakistan were actually committed by the Awami League and Mukti Bahini (some of them while dressed in Pakistani army uniforms); the various ways in which they inflicted death and devastation on their own countrymen purely based on what language they spoke evince a level of brutality that only a few handful of events in human history match. In the below links we have posted a large mass of evidence that shows the Bangladeshis have lied to themselves and the world for the last 4 decades, especially regarding their hideous parroting of the word “genocide” to describe what happened during that war.
Given all of the above, it is the duty of the Pakistani government to do everything in its power to stop those racist Bangladeshis from (literally) getting away with murder. It must take strict action on international forums and use direct diplomacy as well as impose economic sanctions on that country. It must also now start confronting in earnest the narratives that the Bangladeshis have used to justify their unforgivable actions during 1971, which still influence their actions and policies. Moreover, it must issue an official apology on behalf of the entire nation to the Bihari people who even today continue to pay such a horrendously appalling price for their loyalty to their Pakistan, and begin repatriating them to the land where they truly belong.
It is strange that the Bangladeshis would try and execute any so-called “collaborators” with the Pakistani army on the grounds of treason; they themselves collaborated with a host of hostile foreign powers, took up arms against their own country and army, committed genocidal atrocities against their own compatriots, and seceded from their own homeland. If they ever applied on themselves the same standard of justice that they have on Abul Kalam Azad and other accused, then the entire Bangladeshi nation deserves to be hanged for treason.
Even more comical is the fact that every time they are confronted with truths that debunk their “liberation” and “genocide” nonsense, they respond ONLY with childish insults and anger tantrums. Although Pakistan always was and always will be fully entitled to a sincere and heartfelt apology and reparations from Bangladesh, it did the right thing by just forgetting about it, putting the whole fiasco behind itself and moving on, if only because the Bangladeshis just do not seem to understand that they did something wrong – Pakistan had understood the pointlessness of demanding an apology and reparations from a nation of psychopathic blood-thirsty racist genocidal mass-murderers who obviously think they were just enacting a Final Fantasy scene at a Tokyo Game Show in 1971. Better then to just let them wallow in their mental illness obsessing over something that happened a generation ago while their whole country slowly but inexorably sinks into the Indian Ocean.
It is the Bangladeshi nation’s own problem, no one else’s, if it is resolutely determined to remain a hideous blot on the name of the human race.
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