Journalist shot at executed Bangladeshi leader's funeral

Unknown attackers open fire and injure journalist following funeral for executed opposition leader in Bangladesh

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A picture taken early on November 22, 2015 near the Dhaka's central jail shows an ambulance supposed carrying the dead bodies of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid.

Two unknown attackers opened fire at a Bangladeshi television channel's vehicle and injured reporter Rajib Sen on Sunday after two opposition leaders were executed by hanging for war crimes committed in a 1971 war which led to the separation of the country from Pakistan.

The incident occurred in southeastern Chittagong district while the channel's vehicle was returning from the former lawmaker Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury’s funeral.

Two unknown attackers opened shots at the vehicle and wounded reporter Rajib Sen, Naimul Hasan - chief inspector of Chittagong - told Reuters.

He added, "We are trying to nab the attackers and find out the reason [behind the attack]."

The two opposition leaders Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were executed on Sunday after President Abdul Hamid rejected their appeals for mercy.

Mujahid and Chowdhury previously appealed against their death sentences however their appeals were rejected by Bangladesh's Supreme Court despite serious concerns surrounding the fairness of their convictions.

Mujahid, 67, was a member of the party Jamaat-e-Islami and convicted of five different crimes including torture and murder.

He was a commander of an auxiliary force of the Pakistani Army named Al Badr during the war to break away from Pakistan.

Chowdhury, 66, was a former legislator from former premier Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party and was found guilty of charges of genocide, religious persecution, abduction and torture.

Humam Quader Chowdhury, son of Chowdhury, told Reuters, "While we are saddened that we have lost our father by way of a motivated and predetermined trial and where the country is gagged from speaking out, we find hope in the fact that the international community recognises the injustice and that fairness and truth shall be restored in Bangladesh."

Jamaat-e-Islami claims that the government is trying to eliminate political opponents from Bangladeshi politics through using tribunals.

The three-judge panel which handed out the death sentences has received harsh criticism from the UN, the US State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice and human rights organisations for failing to conform to "international standards."

Human Rights Watch's Asia director Brad Adams said, "Justice and accountability for the terrible crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence are crucial, but trials need to meet international fair trial standards."

"Unfair trials can’t provide real justice, especially when the death penalty is imposed."

Two other Jamaat leaders were executed in 2013.

TRTWorld and agencies