Crimes against humanity
6 sentenced to death for war crimes in Mymensingh
The International Crimes Tribunal on Monday sentenced six fugitive criminals of Mymensingh to death for their crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. The condemned convicts are Mokhleshur Rahman Mukul, Saidur Rahman Ratan, Shamsul Haque Fakir, Nurul Haque Fakir, Sultan Mahmud Fakir and Naqib Hossain Adil Sarkar. All were tried in absentia. Read more: Six Khulna men to die for war crimes The tribunal headed by Justice Md Shahinur Islam handed down the punishment to the six after holding them guilty of murder, torture and kidnapping. Public prosecutor barrister Tapas Kanti Ball represented the state in the court. “There were total nine accused in this case. Two of them were behind the bars. Three people died, including two who were in prison and a fugitive accused, said barrister Tapas Kanti. According to the prosecution, the investigation of this case started on January 26 in 2017. On December 31 of that year, the investigation agency submitted its report after the investigation. Read more: Moulvibazar: Three to hang for war crimes In July 12 in 2018, a chargesheet was submitted to the court against the convicts. Later, the trial started on December 5 of the same year through charge framing. The testimonies of 19 people were taken in this case. At the end of arguments, the tribunal kept the case pending for judgment on December 5 last.
Crimes against humanity: Fugitive death row convict held in Savar
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) has claimed to have detained a fugitive death row war crimes convict in Savar on the outskirts of the capital. He was sentenced to death for committing crimes against humanity in Netrokona. The detainee has been identified as Khalilur Rahman, 68, son of Nobi Hossain of Durgapur in Netrakona district. Tipped off, a team of Rab-14 conducted a drive in Savar and detained Khalilur on Tuesday night, said ASP Imran Khan of legal and media wing of Rab headquarters at a press briefing held at Rab media center on Wednesday. Khalilur had been on the run since 2015 and he used to stay in different parts of the city, including Dakkhin Khan, Turag and Uttara, to avoid arrest, said ASP Imran. He also refrained from using a mobile phone to avoid his arrest but his family members often contacted him and supplied money and other things, he said. On January 30, 2017, the prosecution submitted chargesheet against five people of Netrakona, including Khalilur Rahman for their alleged involvement in crimes against humanity. On September 13, 2022, a tribunal sentenced the five accused to death for their crimes against humanity. Charges including killing of 22 people, rape, torture, abduction and arson attack were brought against them. Four other convicts died during the trial.
Netrakona’s Khalilur gets death penalty for crimes against humanity in 1971
International Crimes Tribunal on Tuesday (September 13, 2022) sentenced fugitive criminal Md Khalilur Rahman from Netrakona for his crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of 1971. A three-member tribunal led by Justice Shahinur Islam pronounced the death sentence. Public Prosecutor Rana Dasgupta and Rezia Sultana represented the state during the hearing while state appointed lawyer Gazi MH Tamim appeared for the accused. Also read: 5 get death sentence for raping teenage girl in Khulna PP Rezia Sultana said three of the four accused in this case died during the trial. The tribunal gave death sentence to Khalilur, then commander of Al Badr, in his absence on Tuesday as he has been absconding, said the PP. On January 30, 2017, in a press briefing of the probe agency final report on the accused was published. Also read: 2 sentenced to death in absentia for murder in Gopalganj At first the case had five accused but one of them, Ramzan Ali, died before the trial began. Other three accused that died during the trial were Khalilur’s brother Azizur Rahman, Ashq Ali and Md Shahnewaz, all residents of Noagaon union in Netrakona. Charges of illegal detention, torture, abduction, looting, arson, vandalism, attempted rape, rape, murder and genocide in 1971 were brought against the accused in this case. Read Fugitive death-row war criminal held in city The charge sheet mentioned that 22 people were killed, one was raped, one attempted rape, two of the four abducted being tortured in a camp, 14 or 15 houses being looted and arson at seven houses. Death row convict Khalilur was a member of Islami Chhatra Sangha who joined the Razakar forces during the war. Later, he became commander of Al Badr in Chandigarh union. He was known to be a supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami.
UN cites possible crimes vs. humanity in China’s Xinjiang
China’s discriminatory detention of Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang may constitute crimes against humanity, the U.N. human rights office said in a long-awaited report Wednesday, which cited “serious” rights violations and patterns of torture in recent years. The report seeks “urgent attention” from the U.N. and the world community to rights violations in Beijing’s campaign to root out terrorism. U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, facing pressure on both sides, brushed aside multiple Chinese calls for her office to withhold the report, which follows her own, much-criticized trip to Xinjiang in May. Beijing contends the report is part of a Western campaign to smear China’s reputation. The report has fanned a tug-of-war for diplomatic influence with the West over the rights of the region’s native Uyghurs and other ethnic groups. The report, which Western diplomats and U.N. officials said had been all but ready for months, was published with just minutes to go in Bachelet’s four-year term. It was unexpected to break significant new ground beyond sweeping findings from researchers, advocacy groups and journalists who have documented concerns about human rights in Xinjiang for several years. But the 48-page report comes with the imprimatur of the United Nations and its member countries — notably including rising superpower China itself. The report largely corroborates earlier reporting by advocacy groups and others and injects U.N heft behind the outrage that victims and their families have expressed about China’s policies in Xinjiang. Also read: Taiwan: China, Russia disrupting, threatening world order “Beijing’s repeated denial of the human rights crisis in Xinjiang rings ever-more hollow with this further recognition of the evidence of ongoing crimes against humanity and other human rights violation in the region,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, said in a statement. The run-up to the report’s release fueled a debate over China’s influence at the world body and epitomized the on-and-off diplomatic chill between Beijing and the West over human rights, among other sore spots. China shot back, saying the U.N. rights office ignored human rights “achievements” made together by “people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.” “Based on the disinformation and lies fabricated by anti-China forces and out of presumption of guilt, the so-called ‘assessment’ distorts China’s laws, wantonly smears and slanders China, and interferes in China’s internal affairs,” read a letter from China’s diplomatic mission in Geneva issued in response to the U.N. report. China released a 122-page report titled “Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism in Xinjiang: Truth and Facts” that defended its record and was distributed by the U.N. with its assessment. The U.N. report says “serious human rights violations” have been committed in Xinjiang under China’s policies to fight terrorism and extremism, which singled out Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim communities, between 2017 and 2019. The report cites “patterns of torture” inside what Beijing called vocational training centers, which were part of its reputed plan to boost economic development in region, and it points to “credible” allegations of torture or ill-treatment, including cases of sexual violence. Above all, perhaps, the report warns that the “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” of such groups in Xinjiang, through moves that stripped them of “fundamental rights … may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.” The report called on China to release all individuals arbitrarily detained and to clarify the whereabouts of individuals who have disappeared and whose families are seeking information about them. The report was drawn in part from interviews with former detainees and others familiar with conditions at eight detention centers. Its authors suggest China was not always forthcoming with information, saying requests for some specific sets of information “did not receive formal response.” The rights office said it could not confirm estimates of how many people were detained in the internment camps in Xinjiang, but added it was “reasonable to conclude that a pattern of large-scale arbitrary detention occurred” at least between 2017 and 2019. According to investigations by researchers and journalists, the Chinese government’s mass detention campaign in Xinjiang swept an estimated million or more Uyghurs and other ethnic groups into a network of prisons and camps over the past five years. Beijing has closed many of the camps, but hundreds of thousands continue to languish in prison on vague, secret charges. The report said that reports of sharp increases in arrests and lengthy prison sentences in the region strongly suggested a shift toward formal incarceration as the principal means for large-scale imprisonment and deprivation of liberty — instead of the use of the “vocational training centers” once touted by Beijing. “This is of particular concern given the vague and capacious definitions of terrorism, ‘extremism’ and public security related offenses under domestic criminal law,” the report said, saying it could lead to lengthy sentences, “including for minor offenses or for engaging in conduct protected by international human rights law.” Some countries, including the United States, have accused Beijing of committing genocide in Xinjiang. The U.N. report made no mention of genocide. Bachelet said in recent months that she received pressure from both sides to publish — or not publish — the report and resisted it all, treading a fine line while noting her experience with political squeeze during her two terms as president of Chile. In June, Bachelet said she would not seek a new term as rights chief and promised the report would be released by her departure date on Aug. 31. That led to a swell in back-channel campaigns — including letters from civil society, civilians and governments on both sides of the issue. She hinted last week her office might miss her deadline, saying it was “trying” to release it before her exit. Bachelet had set her sights on Xinjiang on taking office in September 2018, but Western diplomats voiced concern in private that over her term, she did not challenge China enough when other rights monitors had cited abuses against Uyghurs and others in Xinjiang. In a statement from her office early Thursday, Bachelet said she had wanted to take “the greatest care” to deal with responses and input received from the Chinese government last week. Such reports are typically shared with the concerned country before final publication, but generally to check facts — not to allow vetting or influence of the final report. “I said that I would publish it before my mandate ended and I have,” she said after the report was published. Critics had said a failure to publish the report would have been a glaring black mark on her tenure, and the pressure from some countries made her job harder. “To be perfectly honest, the politicization of these serious human rights issues by some states did not help,” said Bachelet, who early on staked out a desire to cooperate with governments. “I appeal to the international community not to instrumentalize real, serious human rights issues for political ends, but rather to work to support efforts to strengthen the protection and promotion of human rights,” she added. Her trip to the region in May was widely criticized by human rights groups, the U.S. administration and other governments as a public relations exercise for China. Hours before the publication, the spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said the U.N. chief had “no involvement” in how the report was drafted or handled, citing his commitment to Bachelet’s independence. Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, said Bachelet’s “damning findings explain why the Chinese government fought tooth and nail to prevent the publication of her Xinjiang report, which lays bare China’s sweeping rights abuses.” Richardson urged the 47-member Human Rights Council, whose next session is in September, to investigate the allegations and hold those responsible to account.
Crimes against humanity: Fugitive death row convict held in city
A fugitive convict, who was sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971, has been detained from the city’s Kalabagan area, said Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Sunday. The death row convict is AK Aminul Haque alias Rajab Ali, 69, of Kishoreganj. Read:1994 assassination attempt: Fugitive death row convict held in city According to a media release from Rab Headquarters, a team of Rab’s intelligence force and Rab-2 detained Rajab Ali after conducting a drive in the city’s Kalabagan area on Saturday night. On Novenber 5 in 2018, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Rajab Ali to death for his involvement in the crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. He was found guilty of murder, looting, arson, torture and kidnapping in Kishoreganj, Bhairab, Brahmanbaria and Habiganj in 1971. He also formed 'Al -Badr' forces in the area to assist the Pakistani army in Bhairab and served as the commander of Kishoreganj district. On December 18 in1971, Rajab Ali surrendered to the Joint Forces. In 1972, five cases were filed against him at Ashtagram police station. He was sentenced to 40 years jail in these cases. But he was released from Dhaka Central Jail in 1982 as he got presidential clemency after serving jail term for only 10 years. Read:Ramna Batamul carnage: Fugitive death row convict held in Kishoreganj Later, he fled to a country in the Middle East and then went to Pakistan several times. In 1997, Rajab came to Dhaka again. On December 27 in 2015, the investigating agency submitted the chargesheet against Rajab Ali to the International Crimes Tribunal and since then he remained fugitive.
Crimes against humanity: Fugitive death row convict held
A fugitive death row convict, who was sentenced by the International Crimes Tribunal for committing crimes against humanity in 1971, was arrested from the city’s Mohammadpur area on Friday, said Rapid Action Battalion (Rab). The convict was identified as Md Nazrul Islam, 69, of Naogaon. Also read: Moulvibazar: Three to hang for war crimes ASP Imran Khan of Rab headquarters media wing said they nabbed Nazrul after a drive in the city’s Mohammadpur area around 12:30 pm. The International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Nazrul along with two others- Rezaul Karim and Shaheed Mandal- to death for their involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. Also read:Dhaka urges London to repatriate convicted war criminals The three convicts were found guilty of murder, looting, arson, torture and kidnapping in 1971. Of them, Nazrul was tried in absentia, said the official.
Moulvibazar: Three to hang for war crimes
The International Crimes Tribunal in Moulvibazar on Thursday sentenced three men to death for their involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. The three-member Tribunal, led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam, handed down the punishment to Abdul Aziz alias Habul, Abdul Mannan alias Monai and Abdul Matin, after holding them guilty of murder, rape, looting, arson, torture and kidnapping. Of them, Matin was tried in absentia. Also read: Dhaka urges London to repatriate convicted war criminals Lawyers M Sarwar Hossain and Abdus Sattar Paloyan appeared for the convicts, all residents of the district, while prosecutors Muklesur Rahman Badal and Sabina Yasmin Khan Munni represented the state. According to the prosecution, the investigation agency of the tribunal started a probe against the three convicts on October 16 in 2014. On November 14 in 2016, the investigation was completed. On February 29 of that year, the tribunal issued arrest warrants against the three. Also read: 6 war crimes suspects held in Jashore Police arrested Abdul Mannan and Abdul Aziz on March 1 of the same year. On the following day, the two were produced before the Tribunal and sent to judicial custody. In November 2016, the tribunal's investigating agency submitted the chargesheet against the three accused. On May 15 of the year, the tribunal framed charges against them and started the trial.
German court: Syrian man guilty of crimes against humanity
A former Syrian secret police officer was convicted by a German court Thursday of crimes against humanity for overseeing the abuse of detainees at a jail near Damascus a decade ago. Anwar Raslan is the highest-ranking Syrian official so far convicted of the charge. The verdict was keenly anticipated by those who suffered abuse or lost relatives at the hands of President Bashar Assad’s government in Syria’s long-running conflict. The Koblenz state court concluded that the defendant was in charge of interrogations at a facility in the Syrian city of Douma known as Al Khatib, or Branch 251, where suspected opposition protesters were detained. The court sentenced the 58-year-old to life in prison. His lawyers had asked judges last week to acquit their client, claiming that he never personally tortured anybody and that he defected in late 2012. “This day, this verdict is important for all Syrians who have suffered and are still suffering from the Assad regime’s crimes,” said Ruham Hawash, a survivor of Branch 251 who testified in the trial. “This verdict is only a beginning and we have a long way to go – but for us affected people, this trial and today’s ruling are a first step towards freedom, dignity and justice,” she said. German prosecutors alleged that Raslan supervised the “systematic and brutal torture” of more than 4,000 prisoners between April 2011 and September 2012, resulting in the deaths of at least 58 people. Judges ruled that there was evidence to hold him responsible for 27 deaths. A junior officer, E yad al-Gharib, was convicted last year of accessory to crimes against humanity and sentenced by the Koblenz court to 4½ years in prison. Read: After Kazakhstan unrest, relatives await detainees' release Both men were arrested in Germany in 2019, years after seeking asylum in the country. Victims and human rights groups have said they hope the verdict in the 19-month trial will be a first step toward justice for countless people who have been unable to file criminal complaints against officials in Syria or before the International Criminal Court. Since Russia and China have blocked efforts for the U.N. Security Council to refer cases to The Hague-based tribunal, countries such as Germany that apply the principle of universal jurisdiction for serious crimes will increasingly become the venue for such trials, experts say. “We are starting to see the fruits of a determined push by courageous survivors, activists and others to achieve justice for horrific atrocities in Syria’s network of prisons,” said Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “The verdict is a breakthrough for Syrian victims and the German justice system in cracking the wall of impunity,” she added. “Other countries should follow Germany’s lead and actively bolster efforts to prosecute serious crimes in Syria.” The trial is the first of its kind worldwide and other courts may cite the verdict and evidence heard in Koblenz, said Patrick Kroker, a lawyer with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. The group represented 14 victims who under German law were able to take part in the proceedings as co-plaintiffs. “The goal remains to bring senior Assad associates, such as former Air Force Intelligence chief Jamil Hassan, to justice for their crimes,” said Kroker. Germany issued an international arrest warrant for Hassan in 2018, but bringing him and other senior Syrian officials to trial will be difficult, as the country does not extradite its citizens. Read: European Parliament President David Sassoli dies at age 65 Still, the European Union’s judicial cooperation organization, Eurojust said the ruling “will leave a lasting mark on international criminal justice.” It noted that photographs of alleged torture victims smuggled out of Syria by a former police officer, who goes by the alias of Caesar, were a key part of the evidence against Raslan. Human rights experts said it was significant that the Koblenz court had deemed the allegations of sexual violence to be among the crimes against humanity Raslan was convicted for. However the judges didn’t convict him over the enforced disappearances, meaning those will have to be prosecuted separately in future proceedings. Conservative estimates put the number of those detained or forcibly disappeared in Syria at 149,000, more than 85% of them at the hands of the Syrian government, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Most disappeared or were detained soon after peaceful protests erupted in March 2011 against Assad’s government, which responded to the rallies with a brutal crackdown. The Syrian government denies it is holding any political prisoners, labeling its opposition terrorists. After battlefield wins, it has negotiated limited prisoner exchanges with various armed groups, which families say offer partial solutions for a very small number of people. Raslan’s lawyers can appeal the verdict.
Three Mymensingh war criminals jailed unto death
The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Thursday sentenced three people of Gafargaon upazila in Mymensingh to jail unto death for their crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Report reveals Myanmar mobile operator Mytel fuelling state corruption
A detailed investigation into the Myanmar military’s involvement in the information and communications technology sector has uncovered a "web of cronyism and corruption".