News / Asia

Bangladesh Death Sentence Sparks Violence; 27 Dead

Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party, stand during a clash with police in Chittagong, Feb. 28, 2013.
Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party, stand during a clash with police in Chittagong, Feb. 28, 2013.
VOA News
A policeman uses a baton on an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party, during a clash at Jatrabari in Dhaka, Feb. 28, 2013.A policeman uses a baton on an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party, during a clash at Jatrabari in Dhaka, Feb. 28, 2013.
x
A policeman uses a baton on an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party, during a clash at Jatrabari in Dhaka, Feb. 28, 2013.
A policeman uses a baton on an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's biggest Islamist party, during a clash at Jatrabari in Dhaka, Feb. 28, 2013.
At least 27 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.

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 [paramilitary forces] and police," said Alam.

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.

The latest clashes brought the overall death toll to at least 38 since the first verdict was delivered in January.
 
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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid