Saturday, 16 February 2013

Al Jazeera English: "Bangladesh's War Wounds"

Link here. Featuring Shahriar Kabir, the Bangladeshi secularist who was a leading figure in the 1992 "People's Court" which "sentenced" Ghulam Azam to death; Abu Baker Molla, a JI spokesman; and Abbas Faiz of Amnesty International.

Shahriar Kabir rather predictably states that "statistics" show that 3 million unarmed people were killed in '71 by the West Pakistani army and various auxiliary forces. Of course, in reality there are no Bangladeshi government statistics on the actual number of war casualities, or the breakdown of that number into combatants and non-combatants or Bengalis and non-Bengalis. The problem of ascertaining the number of casualties is addressed at David Bergman's blog.

Abu Baker Molla comes across as somewhat incoherent, his English not being particularly strong. His main point is the trials are politically motivated and that the issue of war crimes was settled a long time ago and that the early lists of war criminals included only names of Pakistani army officers.

Faiz tries to strike a balance between calling for accountability and ensuring that the trials are fair, while not stating any opinion on the fairness of the trials.

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