BANGLADESH: Witnesses Disappear – International Crimes Tribunal Case Halted

On February 5th, 2012, the weekly Blitz, which is the only anti-jihadist newspaper of Bangladesh, reported that Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the leader of the extremist Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami, had testimonial evidence brought against him in the International Crimes Tribunal. One of the prosecution’s witnesses told the court that Sayedee and his followers from the Pakistani army “…picked up three of my sisters and handed them over to a Pakistani’s soldiers’ camp in Pirojpur.” The unnamed witness later stated that his sisters were raped and that he and his family were forced to say prayers at the mosque and to convert to Islam.

Witnesses have been giving testimony against Sayedee since December of 2011. However, the weekly Blitz reported that the three judges have adjourned the case after one witness fell sick.  Three additional witnesses for the prosecution have disappeared after being released from the prosecution’s custody to visit relatives. The case has been brought to a standstill as the missing witnesses are searched for.

By Kiara Bramasco

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