News / Asia

At Least 44 Dead in Bangladesh Clashes

Bangladeshi police detain a suspected Jamaat-e-Islami activist in front of the Baitul Mukarram, the national mosque in Dhaka, March 1, 2013.
Bangladeshi police detain a suspected Jamaat-e-Islami activist in front of the Baitul Mukarram, the national mosque in Dhaka, March 1, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
At least 44 people have been killed in Bangladesh in a wave of violence sparked by a special tribunal's decision to sentence a top Islamist opposition leader to death.

x
Reports Friday said the latest deaths took place in Gainbandha district, after two days of clashes between protesters and police. The protests were expected to continue after Friday prayers.

Many of the victims were shot Thursday in clashes between security forces and supporters of Delwar Hossain Sayedee. He was found guilty of crimes, including mass killings and rape, committed during the 1971 war against Pakistan for Bangladesh's independence.

Thursday's violence occurred during a nationwide shutdown called by Sayedee's party, Jamaat-e-Islami, to protest his trial and demand he be freed.

A VOA reporter in Dhaka, Zahurul Alam, said two police officers were among the dead, and more than 200 people were wounded. He said Jamaat-e-Islami has called for another nationwide shutdown starting early Sunday.

"Jamaat has again called a 48-hour-long continuous countrywide shutdown from Sunday morning in protest of the verdict against Sayedee and the killing of his supporters by BGB and police," he said.

Sayedee's lawyer has called the verdict unjust and vowed to appeal. Sayedee is the third Jamaat party member to be sentenced for war crimes since Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal was established in 2010.

  • Members of Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami attack a security vehicle during a strike called by the party in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Feb. 28, 2013.
  • Jamaat-e-Islami members stand during a clash with police in Chittagong, Feb. 28, 2013.
  • Jamaat-e-Islami members set up road blocks during a strike called by the party in Chittagong, Feb. 28, 2013.
  • A man rides past a truck set on fire during a strike called by Jamaat-e-Islami in Rajshahi, Bangladesh, Feb. 28, 2013.
  • Bangladesh’s ruling party supporters and others gather for a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Feb. 27, 2013.

On January 21, the tribunal sentenced Abul Kalam Azad to death in absentia, finding him guilty of torture, rape and genocide. On February 5, it sentenced Abdul Quader Mollah to life in prison on similar charges. At least eight more Jamaat members are still on trial.

Human rights groups have questioned the fairness of the trials, saying members of the defense have been unduly pressured.

Bangladesh fought a nine-month war against Pakistan in 1971 to obtain its independence. The government says 3 million people died in the violence, although other estimates give a lower death toll.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid