The international news agencies have covered the executions of Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, two top war criminals in Bangladesh, with importance. SQ Chowdhury and Mojaheed, both former ministers, were hanged together inside Dhaka Central Jail at 12:55am early today after President Abdul Hamid rejected their mercy pleas.
BBC in their report said “Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid were hanged in Dhaka’s central jail. They were convicted of genocide and rape.” The report also said that Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid rejected their appeals for clemency, adding that “However, family members have dismissed reports that the men had made any such appeals, which would have also required admissions of guilt.”
“Bangladesh’s government says the war crimes trials are necessary to bring murderers to justice. But the opposition says they have been used to persecute them and human rights groups have said the tribunal does not meet international standards,” the BBC report further said.
According to the BBC report, the number of people killed in the 1971 Liberation War is not clear, as it said, “Exact number of people killed is unclear – Bangladesh says it is three million but independent researchers say it is up to 500,000 fatalities.”
In their report, Yahoo News quoting AFP said “Bangladesh Sunday hanged two top opposition leaders for war crimes during the independence conflict with Pakistan and strengthened security nationwide over fears the executions could spark fresh unrest.”
“Bangladesh has been roiled by violence for much of the last three years since a domestic tribunal began delivering its verdicts on opposition figures accused of orchestrating massacres during the 1971 war,” the report added.
“Islamist opposition leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a former legislator from former premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), were hanged shortly after President Abdul Hamid rejected their appeals late on Saturday for clemency,” Reuters reported.
“Mujahid was found guilty on five charges including torture and the murders of intellectuals and minority Hindus while he commanded Al Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani army, during the war to break away from Pakistan,” the Reuters report also said.
“Chowdhury, former legislator from former premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was convicted in October 2013 on charges of genocide, religious persecution, abduction and torture during the war,” the report added.
“While we are saddened that we have lost our father by way of a motivated and predetermined trial and where the country is gagged from speaking out, we find hope in the fact that the international community recognises the injustice and that fairness and truth shall be restored in Bangladesh,” Humam Quader Chowdhury, a son of Chowdhury, told Reuters.
Qatar based news agency Al Jazeera reported, “Thousands of extra police and border guards have been deployed in Dhaka and other major cities and towns of Bangladesh in advance of a general strike called to protest against the executions of two opposition politicians for war crimes.”
“Bangladesh executed two opposition leaders on Sunday for war crimes committed during the 1971 war to break away from Pakistan, a senior police official said, in a move likely to draw an angry reaction from supporters,” reported The Huffington Post, adding that, “The Border Guard Bangladesh paramilitary force has been deployed across the country to tighten security.”
“Muslim-majority Bangladesh, until 1971 East Pakistan, has seen a rise in Islamist violence in recent months, with two foreigners and four secular writers and a publisher killed this year,” the report added.
“Bangladesh executed two influential opposition leaders on charges of war crimes during the country’s 1971 independence war,’’ reported Dawn quoting AP, adding “Security was strengthened near the jail and elsewhere to avoid any violence.”
“The two top Bangladesh war criminals –Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed – were hanged tonight for committing crimes against humanity during the country’s liberation war in 1971…after their appeals, the last resort, seeking Presidential mercy were turned down by the head of the state following completion of all legal procedures.” reported The Hindu.
The Hindustan Times reported, “Bangladesh executed two influential opposition leaders who had been convicted of committing war crimes during the country’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan, a senior jail official said Sunday, despite concerns raised by the United States and human rights groups that the legal proceedings that led to the death sentences were flawed.”