Today a nation-wide hartal was called in response to the revocation of Jamaat’s registration as a political party on 2 August 2013. Jamaat postponed the hartal in order to allow people time to return home from Eid related travels. Today’s coverage is therefore gathered from media sources and from conversations with the Prosecution and the Defense teams.
Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:
- Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin – in absentia
Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 10 Mr Iftekhar Haider Chowdhury, a nephew of martyred intellectual Professor Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury. The witness gave testimony in support of Charge-7.
Chief Prosecutor vs. Khan and Mueen Uddin – in absentia
Mr. Iftekhar Haider Chowdhury, Prosecution witness 10, testified in support of Charge-7. He is the nephew of Professor Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, who was killed in the attack on the Bangladeshi intellectual community on 15 December 1971.
The witness stated that he was eight years old in 1971. He heard about the incident that took place in December 1971 from his mother, late Doly Chowdhury who died recently in 2010. He stated that his uncle Mofazzal was an active supporter of progressive causes including the 1952 Language Movement. The victim was a non-communal person who believed in Bangladeshi nationalism. He was a Professor of Bangla at the Dhaka University (DU) and was among those who protested against the then Pakistani government’s decision of banning Rabindra Sangeet and participated in a signature campaign launched by some of DU’s teachers. Because of these activities, Mofazzal felt unsafe during the war and took shelter with his family at his father’s house in Shantibagh. The witness testified that nevertheless members of Al-Badr found out about Mofazzal’s whereabouts by forcing Mr Noor, a domestic employee of Mofazzal ‘s at his Dhaka University residence, to tell them where he was hiding.
The witness testified that Al-Badr men arrived at his house bringing along Mofazzal’s employee Noor. These men asked the witness’ father Professor Lutful Haider Chowdhury about Mofazzal. As soon as they found Mofazzal they asked him to accompany them. As they were taking Mofazzal away Mofazzal’s father pulled off the handkerchief mask of one of the intruders. Mofazzel recognized him as his student Mueen Uddin. The witness stated that he was present there at this time in person. Mofazzal was then taken away in a microbus and never returned. Mofazzal’s body was never found.
The witness stated that he heard about the involvement of Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin in the 15 December 1971 killings from his mother. He stated that his mother also gave an interview for the documentary “War Crimes File,” aired by UK based television channel called Channel-4. After Bangladesh’s victory on 16 December 1971, the Daily Purbadesh and a few other newspapers published reports about Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, alleging that they were the men responsible for the killings of intellectuals.