- Posted February 19, 2013 by
Portland to Shahbag: No War Criminal Can Escape
This protest in Portland is a part of demonstration that is carried on by Bangladeshis all over the world, including almost every state in United States, expressing solidarity with Shahbag movement in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It all started when an infamous war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life in Prison. Mollah was convicted for charges that include mass murdering of 344 people and raping an 11-year old girl, yet did not get the highest capital punishment of Bangladesh. Within hours of the verdict, mass discontent and rage broke all over the country since capital punishment was expected for Mollah. Bangladeshi youths, especially bloggers and online activists raised voice to this discontent and immediately arranged a protest at Shahbag- the intellectual hub of Bangladesh. This protest quickly turned into a mass movement where hundreds and thousands have been protesting peacefully day and night until Mollah and all the other war criminals get capital punishment.
The prosecution of these war criminals is currently carried out by International War Crimes Tribunal which investigates atrocities by local collaborators of Pakistani Army during the independence war of 1971 and brings them to trial. Bangladesh achieved independence from Pakistan in 1971 after 24 years of struggle and a bloody war where three million Bangladeshis were killed and nearly quarter of a million women were raped. Until now, the collaborators of Pakistani Army, known as “Rajakars”, did not face any formal prosecution. After 1971, those war criminals in Bangladesh developed a political party called Jamaat-e-Islami which mainly uses Islam for their political gain. Thus the first demand of the current mass movement at Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh is the highest capital punishment of Abdul Quader Mollah and all other 1971 war criminals.
The demands of Shahbag movement are listed as below:
• Capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah
• Capital punishment for all war criminals
• Ban Jamaat-E-Islami and all religion-based parties from politics.
• Boycott all Jamaat institutions