Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed

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Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed
Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.jpg
Mojaheed at 2010 public meeting
Native name আলী আহসান মোহাম্মদ মোজাহিদ
Born (1948-06-23)23 June 1948
Faridpur, East Bengal
Died 22 November 2015(2015-11-22) (aged 67)
Dhaka Central Jail, Dhaka
Cause of death Execution
Resting place Kabashpur, Faridpur
Nationality Bangladeshi
Occupation Politics
Employer Secretary General
Organization Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh
Known for Politics, War crimes
Home town Faridpur district
Title Member of the Parliament and Minister of Social Welfare
Term 2001–2006
Political party Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh
Religion Islam
Criminal charge 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 status Hanged to death

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed (Bengali: আলী আহসান মোহাম্মদ মোজাহিদ; 23 June 1948 – 22 November 2015) was a convicted war criminal and former Bangladeshi politician [6] who served as a Member of Parliament and as the Minister of Social Welfare from 2001 to 2007 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] It is believed that he was second in command of the infamous paramilitary force, Al-Badr in 1971, which allegedly 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. According to the jail officials, Mojaheed asked for mercy petition to the President of Bangladesh, which was rejected, however his family reported that the news of appeal was a false from the government.[11]

Early life[edit]

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.[12] After completing schooling from Faridpur, Mojaheed took admission to the Dhaka University in 1970.[13]

Political career[edit]

During the Liberation war[edit]

In 1968, Mojaheed became the Faridpur district president of Islami Chhatra Sangha (Urdu: Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba).[13] In 1970, he took admission at the Dhaka University. On moving to Dhaka, he became the Dhaka district president of the Islami Chhatra Sangha.[13] 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.[13] In October 1971, he was elected the president of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Sangha.[14] On 17 October, Mojaheed addressed an Islami Chhatra Sangha meeting at Rangpur, where hen was alleged to have directed the students to join the Al Badar.[15]

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.[14] 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.[16] 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.[15]

Post war[edit]

Mojaheed contested the parliamentary elections in 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008. Except for 2001, he lost in all the elections.[13] Between 2001 and 2006, he was the Minister of Social Welfare.

War crimes trial[edit]

Prosecution[edit]

The trial of Mojaheed at the International Crimes Tribunal 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.[13] Among the victims listed in the charges was Serajuddin Hossain, who was the executive editor of The Daily Ittefaq in 1971.[13]

Opposition parties and human rights groups alleged political interference in the trial, given that all the accused were leading opposition politicians.[17] 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.[18]

Skype controversy[edit]

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.[19] Nizamul Huq later resigned from the post of head judge of the tribunal.[20]

Conviction[edit]

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][21] 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.[22] Defence lawyer Abdur Razzaq claimed that this verdict was unfair.[23]

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.[24] 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.[11][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[edit]

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[edit]

Domestic reactions[edit]

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[edit]

 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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Paul, Ruma (17 July 2013). "Bangladesh Islamist leader sentenced to death for 1971 war crimes". Reuters. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bangladesh Islamist party leader sentenced to death for war crimes". DW.COM. 
  3. ^ a b c Habib, Haroon (18 July 2013). "Jamaat secretary-general gets death penalty for war crimes". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  4. ^ a b "Bangladesh Islamist leader sentenced to death for war crimes". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Death penalty for leading Bangladesh Islamist". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bangladesh upholds death sentence for war collaborator". India Today. 16 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Adhikary, Tuhin Shubhra; Habib, Wasim Bin (22 November 2015). "Hanged, Together". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Jamaat Secretary General gets death for war crimes in Bangladesh". Tehelka. PTI. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mojaheed to hang". The Daily Star. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  10. ^ মুজাহিদকে ফাঁসির আদেশ [Mojaheed sentenced to death]. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Bangladesh president rejects mercy plea of 2 war criminals". The Times of India. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  12. ^ Ahmed, Jakia (2 April 2012). "'Mojaheed not own his father's crimes'". BanglaNews24.com. Dhaka. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Mojaheed indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity". New Age. Dhaka. 22 June 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Discharge plea for Mojaheed". The Daily Star. Dhaka. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Newspaper archives testify to 1971 role of Mojaheed, other war crimes suspects". The Daily Star. Dhaka. BSS. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Sarkar, Ashutosh (17 January 2012). "Mojaheed pressed Pak army for hasty killings". The Daily Star. Dhaka. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Bangladesh War-Crime Tribunal Bogs Down". The Wall Street Journal. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Verdict on Mujaheed Wednesday". bdnews24.com. 16 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "The trial of the birth of a nation". The Economist. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Tribunal chief quits over Skype scandal". The Daily Star. 12 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "Mujaheed guilty of war crimes". bdnews24.com. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  22. ^ Khan, Tamanna (18 July 2013). "They now can rest in peace". The Daily Star. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  23. ^ এটা ভুল রায়: রাজ্জাক. bdnews24.com (in Bengali). 
  24. ^ "Verdicts read out to Salauddin, Mojaheed". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  25. ^ "Bangladesh president rejects death-row mercy petitions". Economic Times. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  26. ^ "Govt, family versions contradict". The Daily Star. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  27. ^ "'Effort to create confusion over mercy petitions on'". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  28. ^ সাকা-মুজাহিদের ফাঁসি কার্যকর [Mojaheed execution]. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  29. ^ "Mixed reaction in Faridpur". The Daily Star. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  30. ^ "Bangladesh executes 2 opposition leaders for war crimes". Hindustan Times. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  31. ^ "Mojaheed buried in Faridpur town". Prothom Alo. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  32. ^ "Mojaheed buried in his hometown Faridpur". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  33. ^ "Jamaat launches two-day protest including Monday strike". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  34. ^ "MPs praise govt, PM at JS". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  35. ^ "Pakistan 'deeply' perturbed over executions in Bangladesh". The Daily Star. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.