News / Asia

Protests Follow Bangladesh Opposition Leader's Execution

  • A man walks past vehicles that were set on fire by Jamaat-e-Islami party activists during clashes with police in Dhaka, Dec. 13, 2013.
  • Jamaat-e-Islami party activists raise sticks as they approach police during a clash in Dhaka, Dec. 13, 2013.
  • A boy tries to control a fire after vehicles were torched and vandalized by Jamaat-e-Islami party activists during clashes with police in Dhaka, Dec. 13, 2013.
  • Police run during a clash with activists from Jamaat-E-Islami in Dhaka, Dec. 13, 2013.
  • A police vehicle uses colored water to put out flames after vehicles were torched and vandalized by Jamaat-e-Islami party activists during clashes with police in Dhaka, Dec. 13, 2013.

Protests in Dhaka After Opposition Leader Hanged

Anjana Pasricha
In Bangladesh, at least three people have been killed in protests which erupted after the execution of an opposition leader convicted of war crimes. The execution of 65-year-old Abdul Qader Mollah has raised fears of deepening strife in a country already coping with violent opposition-led protests ahead of elections next month.  
    
Warnings by the Jamaat-e-Islami party of “dire consequences” if its former leader was hanged began to play out within hours of the execution of Mollah.

He was executed Thursday night after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal for a review. A controversial war crimes tribunal had found him guilty of aiding Pakistani troops in killing hundreds of civilians and other crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence. His funeral took place in his home town of Faridpur early Friday.

Jamaat activists torched homes and businesses, blockaded roads, set fire to vehicles and attacked ruling party supporters in outlying towns and districts. Police say two Awami League supporters were hacked to death and one person died in clashes between police and protestors.  
 
Security has been beefed up in the capital Dhaka as the situation remains volatile.

A Dhaka resident, Mohammad Khokan, described an incident. He said the protesters came with boxes full of bombs and they wore helmets and started throwing handmade bombs on the street and ran away.   

Abdul Qader Mollah was the first of the five Islamist leaders who have been sentenced to death by the war crimes tribunal to be hanged. The convictions in connection with Bangladesh's liberation struggle more than four decades ago have prompted protests and counter protests.   

Many secular activists support the trials. Following the execution they held celebrations in the capital Dhaka and broke into cheers saying justice has been served.

But the opposition says the tribunal was set up by the ruling party to eliminate opposition leaders.

The controversial trials have deepened divisions between the main opposition party, an ally of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and the ruling party, which are already at loggerheads over the holding of elections next month.  

A professor of politics at Dhaka University, Ataur Rahman, says the political divide could jeopardize the polls.  

“It would be very difficult or well nigh impossible to hold elections in this kind of civil strife," Rahman said. "This government unfortunately could not make any sort of political accommodation with the (opposition) political parties so far. In terms of political reconciliation it could not succeed, it does not have any good record of political conflict resolution so far.”   

At least 100 people have died in violent protests in Bangladesh since October, but observers fear there could be more violence in the coming weeks.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid