Muhammad Kamaruzzaman

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Muhammad Kamaruzzaman
Native name মুহাম্মদ কামারুজ্জামান
Born Muhammad Kamaruzzaman
(1952-07-04) July 4, 1952 (age 62)
Sherpur, East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh)
Education Master's in Journalism
Alma mater Dhaka University
Occupation Journalist, Politician
Known for Politics, Editorials, War crimes
Home town Sherpur, Bangladesh
Political party
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami
Criminal charge
Crimes against humanity including genocide, killing, rape, looting, arson, and deportation of people during the Bangladesh Liberation War[1][2][3]
Criminal penalty
Death Sentence
Spouse(s) Nurun Nahar
Children 5
Parents Moulavi Insan Ali Sarker (Father)

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ কামারুজ্জামান) is the senior assistant secretary general of the political party Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh.[1][4][5][6] He is also the editor of the Weekly Sonar Bangla.[7]

On 9 May 2013 the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to death after it found Kamaruzzaman guilty of crimes against humanity including genocide, killing, rape, looting, arson, and deportation of people during the Bangladesh Liberation War.[8] However, he denied the charges and said that the trial was politically motivated.[9]

Early life[edit]

Kamaruzzaman was born on 4 July 1952, at Sajbarkhila village in Sherpur, Bangladesh (at the time East Pakistan). His father Moulavi Insan Ali Sarker, was a businessman. Kamaruzzaman obtained Master's degree in journalism in 1976 from Dhaka University. He has 5 sons. His wife's name is Nurun Nahar.[10]

Career[edit]

In 1971, Kamruzzaman was the leader of the Islami Chattra Sangha (Islamic students organization) in Mymensingh.[1][11][12][13][14] He was the chief organizer of the Al-Badr, a paramilitary force formed to assist the Pakistan army to thwart the freedom struggle of Bangladesh in 1971, of greater Mymensingh region.[1][11][12][13][14][15][16] An article in the Daily Sangram on August 16, 1971, said, "A rally and symposium were organized in Mymensingh by the Al- Badr to celebrate the 25th independence day of Pakistan. The chief organizer of the Al-Badr, Mouhammed Kamruzzaman presided over the symposium held at the local Muslim Institute."[17] Kamaruzzaman was a two-time President of Islami Chhatra Shibir the student wing of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.[14][18] Kamaruzzaman became a journalist at the Weekly Sonar Bangla in the 1980s,[19] later taking the role of editor.[7] He also worked for The Daily Sangram as Executive Editor.[10] In four successive elections between 1991 and 2008 Kamaruzzaman unsuccessfully contested the seat Sherpur-1 for Jamaat-e-Islami, losing the last three times to the Awami League candidate Md. Atiur Rahman Atik.[20] Under pressure from Shahbag protesters, Kamaruzzaman's membership of the National Press Club was cancelled on 13 February 2013.[19]

A Strategy for Change[edit]

Kamuruzzaman is a leading progressive voice within Jamaat. Well aware of the stigma that the party face and the impediments this stigma caused for the Islamic Movement in Bangladesh, he advocates the establishment of a new party unlinked to any figures, or the families of any figures, accused of crimes in the 1971 Bangladesh War. In his 2010 paper "A Strategy for Change" he outlined how the new party should not use the student front Islami Chatro Shibir for its own purposes and feature women as an integral part from the highest decision making levels down. The document also calls on the illogical gender segregation policies to be revoked. [21]

War crimes trial[edit]

Kamuruzzaman was initially arrested on 13 July 2010 and detained for over a year without being formally informed of charges. In November 2011 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted the opinion that the detention was disproportional and breached human rights conventions.[22] Kamaruzzaman, along with nine other senior members from Jamaat-e-Islami,[9] was charged on seven counts of crimes against humanity during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, including genocide, killing, rape, looting, arson, and deportation of unarmed civilians. He denied all charges.[23]

Charges[edit]

  • Killing of Badiuzzaman by Al-Badr, led by Kamaruzzaman on Jun 29, 1971.
  • Torture of Lecturer Abdul Hannan by Kamaruzzaman and his associates on May in 1971.
  • Genocide of 120 men and rape of the women of the village Shohaghpur on July 25, 1971, planned and advised by Kamaruzzaman.
  • Murder of Golam Mostafa by Al-Badr on Kamaruzzaman's orders on Aug 23, 1971.
  • Killing of eight people from Chawkbazar by Al-Badr in presence of Kamaruzzaman at Sherpur in the middle of the Ramadan during the war.
  • Repression of Didar and others in Mymensingh district on November 1971.
  • Murder of five on the 27th day of Ramadan by the Al-Badr members following the orders of Kamaruzzaman.

[8]

Controversies[edit]

Though the government and ICT have stated that justice was the priority, opposition parties Jamaat-e-Islami and the BNP accused the prime minister Sheikh Hasina of using the tribunal to persecute them.[24] In December 2012, conversations and emails between the judge and a Brussels-based lawyer were published, which according to The Economist revealed that the government wanted a quick verdict from the International Crimes Tribunal.[25] In response, an application was submitted on behalf of Kamaruzzaman for a retrial, which was rejected.[26] Following the revelations, the controversial chief Justice Nizamul Huq resigned from the post and Fazle Kabir was appointed there.

Conviction[edit]

The final arguments of the trial closed on 14 April 2013.[27] On 9 May 2013 the International Crimes Tribunal found him guilty of five out of seven counts of charges including torture, genocide, killing, rape, looting, arson, and deportation of unarmed civilians during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh and sentenced him to death by hanging on two of the charges.[1][1][28][29][30] Kamaruzzaman denied the charges and said that the trial was politically motivated.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kamaruzzaman to hang - bdnews24.com
  2. ^ 3rd Jamaat leader to hang for war crimes - Times Of India
  3. ^ Bangladesh Islamist sentenced to hang for war genocide - Yahoo! News Singapore
  4. ^ 3rd Jamaat leader to hang for war crimes - Times Of India
  5. ^ Bangladesh Islamist sentenced to hang for war genocide - Yahoo! News Singapore
  6. ^ "মানবতাবিরোধী অপরাধ : কামারুজ্জামানের মামলার রায় যে কোন দিন (Crimes against humanity: The verdict of Kamaruzzaman's case any day now)". Amar Desh. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-04-19. 
  7. ^ a b "Weekly Sonar Bangla". Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  8. ^ a b Kamaruzzaman: The Charges - bdnews24.com
  9. ^ a b c "Bangladesh's Kamaruzzaman sentenced to death". BBC. 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  10. ^ a b bdnews24.com/bangladesh/article623132.bdnews
  11. ^ a b Bangladesh Jamaat leader sentenced to death - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English
  12. ^ a b Kamaruzzaman led Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams: witness
  13. ^ a b Key man of Al-Badr | The Daily Star
  14. ^ a b c Profile of Kamaruzzaman - bdnews24.com
  15. ^ The Daily Sangram, 16 August 1971, Text:http://archive.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=267005
  16. ^ Ekattorer Ghatok Dalalera ke kothay, Page-111 & 112. Photo on page 111,
  17. ^ Kamaruzzaman was kingpin
  18. ^ Jamaat e Islami Website
  19. ^ a b "National Press Club cancels membership of Quader Molla, Kamaruzzaman". New Age. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  20. ^ Bangladesh Election Commission (2012). পরিসংখ্যান প্রতিবেদন: ৯ম জাতীয় সংসদ নির্বাচন (Statistics report: Ninth Jatiya Sangshad Election). 
  21. ^ "Do Islamists need a way out?". [IkhwanWeb]. 
  22. ^ "Opinion No. 66/2011". United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  23. ^ "Closing arguments against Kamaruzzaman starts Sunday". The Daily Star. 
  24. ^ "Bangladesh braces for unrest as judges prepare war crime verdict". Reuters. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  25. ^ "The trial of the birth of a nation". The Economist. December 15, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  26. ^ "স্কাইপ কেলেঙ্কারি : মাওলানা সাঈদীর বিরুদ্ধে ফের যুক্তি উপস্থাপন হচ্ছে আজ (Skype scandal: Fair arguments against Maulana Sayeedi are now being presented)". Amar Desh. 
  27. ^ "একটি অভিযোগেও কামারুজ্জামানকে শাস্তি দেয়ার মতো উপাদান নেই (Not one allegation has the substance to warrant punishment)". Weekly Sonar Bangla. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  28. ^ Full Verdict of Kamaruzzaman
  29. ^ 3rd Jamaat leader to hang for war crimes - Times Of India
  30. ^ Bangladesh Islamist sentenced to hang for war genocide - Yahoo! News Singapore