Tag Archives: killing of intellectuals

25 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan & Mueen Uddin PW 17

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Today Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 17 in the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia. The testimony of the witness is relevant to the background identification of Ashrafuzzaman Khan.  Continue reading

13 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Hartal Coverage of Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 10

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:

  1. 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.  Continue reading

22 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan & Mueen Uddin PW 16, Alim Cross-Examination of PW 35

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

In the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, who are being jointly tried in absentia, the Tribunal heard the testimony of Prosecution witness 16. Both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination were completed today. The testimony of Prosecution witness 16 supports Charge 6, which alleges that they were responsible for the abduction and killing of Professor Gias Uddin Ahmed, among other intellectuals.

In the case against Abdul Alim the Defenst resumed its cross-examination of the Investigation Officer, Prosecution witness 35. The Defense’s questioning focused on the investigation procedure followed by the Officer and the authenticity of various documents submitted into evidence.  Continue reading

23 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Mueen Uddin PWs 3 and 4.

23 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Contempt Proceedings against Prosecution Witness, Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin Cross Examination of PW 3

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Contempt Proceedings against Jahir Uddin Jalal
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan & Chowdhury Mueen Uddin

Jahir Uddin Jalal, a Prosecution witness against whom contempt charges were brought after he allegedly physically assaulted a Defense attorney outside of the High Court, filed an application to recall the order passed by Tribunal on 21 July. The Tribunal’s order disposed of the the charge by cautioning the witness not to engage in similar behavior in the future, without concluding that the incident was definitively committed by him. Jalal opposed the order, alleging that he did not instruct his lawyer Monsur Rashid to propose such a disposal of the matter and that the lawyer had acted without his instruction. Jalal’s newly appointed counsel requested that the order be recalled. The Tribunal accepted the application and recalled the order, scheduling a rehearing of the matter for 29 July.

In the Khan and Mueen Uddin case the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 3 as well as the testimony of Prosecution witness 4. The case is scheduled to continue tomorrow, 24 July, with the testimony of Prosecution witness 5. Continue reading

4 August 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Khan and Mueen Uddin PW 9, Alim cross-examination of Investigation Officer

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
  2. Chief Prosecutor vs. Abdul Alim

Tribunal 2 recorded the testimony of Prosecution witness 9 in the case against Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, both of whom are being tried in absentia. Both the examination-in-chief and cross-examination were completed on this day. The testimony of Prosecution witness 9 supports Charge 11 against the accused, pertaining to the killing of physician Dr Alim Chowdhury.

The court also made some progress in the case against Abdul Alim as it continued to record the cross-examination of ZM Altafur Rahman, the Investigation Officer for the case. So far, the Defense counsel has directed their line of questioning at highlighting inconsistencies in the investigation procedures followed by the Investigation Officer. The Tribunal adjourned Alim’s case until 5th August, 2013. Continue reading

18 July 2013: ICT-2 Daily Summary – Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin Cross-Examination PW-2, Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar, Pre-trial AKM Yusuf

Today a nation-wide hartal was called in response to the conviction and sentencing of Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid. Our coverage of today’s proceedings are therefore gathered from media sources as well as from conversations with the Prosecution and Defense.

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, in absentia
  2. Investigation of Syed Mohammad Qaisar
  3. Pre-trial Stage of AKM Yusuf Case

Continuing where they left of on 16 July in the Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin case, the Tribunal heard the cross-examination of Prosecution witness 2, Asif Munir. The witness is the son of Professor Munir Chowdhury, who was killed as part of the Bangladeshi intellectual community in December of 1971. He was cross-examined by the two state appointed defense attorneys: Mr Shukur Khan who is representing Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Ms Tuny who is representing Chowdhury Mueen Uddin.

The Tribunal also directed the Prosecution to submit a progress report on the investigation into suspect Syed Mohammad Qaisar. They scheduled the report for 13 August 2013. Qaisar, an former state Minister in President Ershad’s cabinet, has been in police custody since 21 May 2013 for his alleged involvement in atrocities committed during the 1971 independence war.

In the pre-trial proceedings against AKM Yusuf the Tribunal granted a Defense application for additional time and adjourned the proceedings of the case until 22 July 2013.

Chief Prosecutor vs. Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen Uddin
Cross-Examination of Prosecution Witness 2
The witness Asif Munir previously testified that his father was abducted by Al-Badr men from their house in Central Road, Dhaka on 14 December 1971, just two days prior to Bangladesh’s victory against the Pakistan. He also claimed that his father was targeted because of his vocal opposition to the then Pakistani government’s anti-Bengali stance. He described how his father was abducted from their Central Road house and said that he learned the details of the incident from his mother, brother and a paternal uncle, all of whom witnessed the incident first hand.

Asif Munir that at around 1 p.m. on the day of the incident someone knocked at the door. The witness’s mother saw from the window that a microbus was standing in front of their house. The vehicle was covered with tree branches on its roof and covered with mud.  A few young men got out of the car and came to their gate, where they were met by the witness’ uncle, Mr Shamsher Chowdhury Rusho. The men asked Mr. Shamser  if he was Munir Chowdhury. The uncle said no and went back to the house where he informed the victim Munir that they were seeking him. Munir then went down to the ground floor to meet the men. The witness then said that he was told that his father was forced into the microbus at gunpoint after a heated exchange of words. The witness’s mother and brother, Mishuk Munir, witnessed the incident from the first floor. The witness stated he only four years old at that time.

After independence the family of the witness who saw the incident became sure that Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen Uddin were both directly involved in the abduction upon seeing the photographs of the perpetrators published in a newsreport in the Daily Purbadesh. They recognized the photographs of the two accused as being amongst those youths who abducted the victim. The newspapers alleged that these men were directly involved in the killing of many other Bengali intellectuals.

The witness further stated that he later coincidentally met one Mr Delwar Hossain who was similarly picked up by Al-Badr men in December, 1971. Delwar told him that he heard the name of Munir Chowdhury and saw him amongst those who were detained and tortured in the Al-Badr concentration camp in Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute.

The witness stated that his brother also gave similar description in his statement given to the Investigation Officer of the case, before his early demise in a tragic road accident on 13 August 2011.

10 July 2013: ICT-1 Daily Summary – Nizami PW 13

Today the Tribunal heard matters in the following cases:

  1. Chief Prosecutor vs. Motiur Rahman Nizami

In the Motiur Rahman Nizami case, Tribunal heard the examination-in-chief of Shamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, Prosecution witness 13. The Defense then conducted the cross-examination. Shamoli Nasrin Chowdhury testified in support of Charge 16. After her testimony the Tribunal adjourned the case until 11 July 2013.

Examination-in-Chief
Shamoli Nasrin Chowdhury testified that she was married to Dr Abdul Alim Chowdhury, an intellectual who was killed in 1971. She stated that they were married on 21 December 1965. Shamoli testified that she worked in Udaon High School, Dhaka for 36 years and then retired as a Headmistress of that school. In 1971 she resided at 29/1 Purana Palton, Dhaka with his husband, daughters and parents. Shamoli testified that during the Liberation War her husband Alim worked at Sir Sallimullah Medical College and he had a chamber in the ground floor of their rented house at 29/1 Purana Palton. He was also involved with different social organizations. Shamoli stated that her husband Alim was arrested for his participation in the Language Movement on 21 February 1952. She testified that her husband’s chamber at Purana Palton was used as a meeting place by social and political activists and that her husband spent half of his income from this chamber supporting social and political activities.

Shamoli testified that beginning on 25 March 1971 her husband worked in support of the independence movement and helped party activists by allowing them to take shelter at his chamber and helping transport them to other safe places. She said that her husband assisted many people in this way, including Acting President of Bangladesh, Sayed Nazrul Islam.

Shamoli testified that in the middle of June 1971, at the request of their neighbor Motin, they gave a stranger, Moulana Abdul Mannan, shelter at their house. Shamoli testified that they gave him shelter for some days and then they find out that Mannan rented the ground floor from the landlord. Shamoli testified that Mannan came to their place on 22 July 1971 and that on the 2 or 3 of August some armed youth began to guard the apartment. Shamoli’s husband Alim asked Mannan about the youths and Mannn told him that they were members of Al-Badr and that he (Mannan) was an organizer of Al-Badr. Alim asked Mannan why they are in front of his (Alim’s) gate and Mannan replied that it was to prevent freedom fighters from entering and trying to kill Mannan.

Shamoli testified that she and her husband learned that Al-Badr was an armed group formed against the Liberation War. She stated that she learned that Islami Chhatra Shangho formed Al-Badr and that the leaders of Al-Badr were Gholam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mujahid. Shamoli testified that they learned that along with the Pakistani Army, Al-Badr was responsible for all of the crimes during the war, including looting, mass killing, rape etc. Shamoli testified that Mannan always assured her family that they had nothing to fear because they gave Mannan and his family shelter and now he (Mannan) would protect them as well. Shamoli testified that they did not believe Mannan because they knew that Al-Badr had taken intellectuals such as professors, doctors, and engineers, who supported the independence movement to the Mohammadpur Physical Training Institute where they were tortured to death by the instructions of the Al-Badr high command. Shamoli testified that they learned this information from freedom fighters, Sadhin Bangla Betar Kendro, newspapers and leaflets.

Shamoli testified that on 15 December at 4:30, she and her husband were watching the one sided bombing of the Indian Air Force from their verandas. She said they were feeling happy hoping that the Pakistani occupation force would surrender to the allied forces. Shamoli testified that at that time they heard the sound of a microbus and saw a muddy vehicle stopped in front of Mannan’s gate. After 30 minutes they heard sounds outside of their gate and saw 2 or 3 Al-Badr men with guns who asked them to open the door. Shamoli said she was frightened and asked her husband what to do. Her husband had their help, Hakim and Momin, open the gate and he went to the ground floor to talk with Mannan. Mannan asked Alim to go with the Al-Badr members and told him not to be frightened. Alim tried to go back to their apartment on the first floor but the Al-Badr men prevented him from leaving and instructed him to put his hands up. Shamoli testified that Alim asked why they were acting in this way, and they responded that they were acting on the order of Al-Badr high command Motiur Rahman Nizami. Shamoli testified that Alim asked to be allowed to at least change his clothes, but they did not allow him to do so. The Al-Badr men then blindfolded Alim and took him away at gunpoint. Shamoli testified that when Hakim and Momin informed her of this she went to the house of Mannan in tears and sought his help. Mannan assured her not to worry and told her that Dr Fazle Rabbi was also taken by them in order to provide medical treatment. He said they would be sent back when their work was over.

Shamoli testified that on 16 December 1971 at about 11am two freedom fighters, Kabir and another one is the son of journalist Salam, came to their house and asked her who was responsible for handing Alim over to Al-Badr. She said that they all searched for her husband but that by 17 December it was confirmed that who had been taken by Al-Badr had been killed. On the morning of 18 December 1971 Shamoli’s brother-in-law Hafiz Chowdhury, Hakim, Momin and other relatives went to the Rayer Bazar and recovered the corpses of Alim, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Ladu, journalist Selina Pervin and many more. She testified that her husband’s body was taken to their home where she saw that his hands had been tied behind his back, he was blindfolded and he had been both shot and bayoneted.

Shamoli said she later learned that someone called Delwar survived and wrote that intellectuals such as doctors, engineers, and writers had been taken to the Mohammadpur Physical Institute where they were tortured before being taken to Rayer Bazar where they were shot and killed. She identified Nizami in the dock and acknowledged that she had been interviewed by the Investigation Officer.

Cross-Examination of Prosecution witness 13
The Defense asked the witness when she first met Nizami. She replied that today was the first time she had seen him in person. She added that she had also seen his photos in the newspapers published in 1971 and later on, on television.

After the lunch break, the Defense asked the witness about the news reports she had read mentioning Nizami and asked what title Nizami was given by those reports. Shamoli replied that the reports described Nizami as the founder of the Al-Badr forces and high-command of all of Pakistan. The Defense asked whether the witness recalled the name of the newspaper and the date of the report. Shimoli replied that she saw that news in the month of August in the daily Shangram but that she did not keep this paper.

The Defense then questioned the witness for details about the rented house she and her husband lived in. Shamoli stated they rented the house in 1969. The Defense asked the witness whether she and her husband were informed by the landlord Zia Uddin that Mannan rented the ground floor. She said they were. Defense asked the witness when Mannan and his family left the rented house. The witness replied that Mannan’s wife and children left the house on 16 December 1971.

The Defense claimed that on 4 December due to the attack of allied forces the Tejgaon airport became useless. They asserted that on 14 December the Indian Army took control of Dhaka and the adjacent areas. The witness agreed that this was true. The Defense claimed that on 14 December Pakistan Army gave an offer regarding the transfer of power. Shamoli stated she didn’t know about those things. Defense claimed that Dhaka Intercontinental and Holy Family Hospital was declared as neutral Zone, which Shamoli said she had heard. The Defense claimed that Mannan took shelter in that neutral zone. The witness replied that she did not know. The Defense claimed that Mannan was arrested two times before the return of Bangabondhu after the victory and once after the return of Bangabandhu. The witness replied that she had heard this. The Defense claimed that before 1971, Mannan was involved with the politics of Muslim League. The witness replied that she was not sure. Defense claimed that the witness’ husband Alim joined government service after his return from London during the tenure of Ayub Khan. The witness admitted that.

During examination in chief Shamoli testified that their neighbor Motin, who was part of the PDP party, recommended Mannan and asked them to give him shelter. The Defense asked whether the witness or her husband had inquired why Motin recommended Mannan. The witness replied that she did not ask him. Defense asked the witness whether she gave any interview to the media regarding the killing of his husband Alim and whether she had written any book regarding this killing. The witness replied that she gave interviews to the media and wrote a book titled ‘ Ekkatorer Sahid Dr Alim Chowdhury’ regarding the killing of her husband Alim.