Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The story of murder of Shaheed Aminur Rahman, a shocking story of human rights violation in Bangladesh

It was on a hot summer afternoon in Satkhira, when residents at Kamalnagar in the town were busy in rest after taking their afternoon meals, taking respite from the unbearable heat that was beating down mercilessly at this particular time of the day when something terrible happened at the student hostel at Mukul Bari. At approximately 3 pm, men in uniform surrounded the hostel premises from all sides. Without the least warning they closed in from all sides and converged upon the house, attacking its inhabitants and opening live fire on them. A group of students residing at the hostel were in the process of having lunch after a hard day of classes when all hell was let loose. As bullets rained on the denizens of the house, Aminur Rahman (27), meritorious student and Bangladesh Islami Chatra Shibir Satkhira Town Secretary fell dead on the spot, a bullet tearing his heart as it punctured his lungs on its way. The security ‘operation’ as described by the men in uniform with a license to kill did not end there. They fired 65 rounds of bullets in the space of less than half an hour. Then they brought out seven injured students one by one onto the street. What happened next was barbaric, inhuman and downright shocking. To the shock of bystanding witnesses and onlookers, police shot at the student point blank again before finally making a rough show of arresting the now seriously injured students.

A shocking instance of extrajudicial murder:

At 3 pm on Monday, police teams consisting of SB and Satkhira thana police took part in an unwarranted raid on Mukul bari student hostel situated at Kamalnagar in Satkhira town of the district. Witnesses said that police converged around the place as they closed in firing live bullets. As per testimonies of multiple arrested leaders from the incident spot, an armed intelligence policeman suddenly entered the premises and shot Aminur on the chest. The bullet punctured his lungs and ripped through his heart. As a result, part of his lungs protruded from the gaping bullet wound. The policeman then shot at Aminur’s feet several times, due to which he fell onto the ground. At the same time police stormed the house, firing at other students as well. Most were shot at their feet and witnesses informed of pools of blood where the injured students lay on the floor. The other students injured at the site of the police operation were Mohammad Abu Taleb (30), son of Abu Bakr Gazi from Kollyanpur village of Ashashuni upazila, Mohammad Azizul Islam (30), son of Abdus Sattar of Khan Jahan Ali thana of Khulna, Sheikh Abdul Gafur (23), son of Abdul Haque of Mongolandokathi village of Tala upazila in Satkhira, Nur Mohammad (18), son of Sohrab Hossain of Jhaudanga village of Satkhira town, Abdus Sobur (18) son of Abdul Haque of Mongolandokathi village of Tala upazila in Satkhira, Mohammad Imran Hossain (26), son of Mahbub Gazi of Parshekhali village of Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira and Mohammad Akhtar Hossain (25), son of Shahajahan Ali of Jugipol village of Khan Jahan Ali thana of Khulna. They were later taken out into the open one by one, and shot at in front of shocked onlookers and witnesses. Some onlookers were reported to have lost consciousness at the sight of this police brutality. Seriously injured and in critical bloody condition, the students were roughly manhandled and shoved forcefully into the police vehicles. Later they were admitted to the Satkhira Town Hospital for life-saving treatment under police supervision.      

A look into the life of Aminur Rahman:

Aminur Rahman was the son of Mofizuddin Sarker of Rahmatpur village of Krishnanagar union, Kaliganj upazila, Satkhira. He was 11th among 12 brothers and sisters. He completed his SSC in 2003 from Rahmatpur Nobojuug Shi Shopan High School while he completed his HSC in 2005 from Shyamnagar Mohsn Degree College. He had completed his Honours and Masters from Bangla division in Satkhira Government College and was well known as a prospective and popular student leader.  

Namaaz-e-Janza for Shaeed Aminur Rahman

Media reports and reactions:

The media reports focused on labelling the event as a clash, making it in essence look moronic. Take the Daily star coverage of the event as an example. As the law enforcers conducted a raid at the house around 5:00pm, Shibir activists exploded crude bombs targeting lawmen, Enamul Hawlader, officer-in-charge of Satkhira Sadar Police Station, told The Daily Star.

"Later, the Shibir activists opened fire, prompting us to retaliate with bullets," the OC said.
Three policemen received minor injuries in the blast. Two firearms and a bullet were recovered from the house, he added.
On associating with the recent spate of police failures, one would easily make out the inconsistencies labeled above if we think with a clear mind.

The news has elicited a strong response from Shibir and the online community and the stance of Islamic organisations in Bangladesh has spoken volumes, especially on asking questions on the general violation of human rights in the country, a fact where shamefully many human rights defenders and organisations have failed to.  

May the Almighty accept Aminur Rahman as a Shaheed. 

We demand justice for this gross violation of human rights by this fascist government. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mishari Rashid Al Afasy - Muhammad - LYRICS

محمد - مشاري راشد العفاسي

إنهُ الخلُقُ العظيمُ المُجتبى
وهْوَ مِشكاةُ الفضيلةِ والمَعينْ
لليتامى والنِّسا والضُعَفا
رِفقهُ بل للخلائقِ أجمعينْ
للطيورِ ووكرِها وصِغارِها
للحياةِ ومَن يُصَلِّ على الأمينْ
حُبّهُ لاينتهي فمحمّدٌ
قد تجلّى رحمةً للعالمينْ

مَن كمِثلِ محمدٍ يُختارُ في
كفّةِ التوحيدِ والحقِّ المُبينْ؟
في تحيّاتِ الوجودِ مُحمدٌ
في ابتهالاتِ المآذنِ والحنينْ
في قلوبِ المسلمينَ وسعيهِمْ
أن تراهُ قلوبُ غيرِ المسلمينْ

ليتنا كُنّا فِدا الدمعِ الذي
ساحَ مِن عينَي أجلِّ المرسلينْ
غابَ عن أنظارهِ أحبابُهُ
بل ووارى التُّربَ أهلاً و بنينْ
صابراً يُهجى ويؤذى بينما
قلبُهُ يُكوى لحالِ الآخَرينْ
إذ يرى أصحابَهُ ألماً وهُم
في مكابدةِ الجراحِ مُعذَّبينْ

ليتنا كُنا وِقاءَ دِمائهِ
وهْيَ تروي الأرضَ صبراً ويقينْ
ربِّ إن بكَ لم يكنْ غضبٌ علَيْ لاأُبالي يارجا المُستضعَفينْ
جاءتِ الدنيا لهُ طوعاً فلمْ
يفترش إلا حصيراً للسنينْ
فارقَ الدنيا فهدّ قلوبَنا
يافِداهُ ومُلْكُهُ دِرعٌ رهينْ

Jamaat supported UP member extra-judicially killed by government forces in Jhenaidah

Four days after being abducted by men claiming to be members of Kothchandpur Detective Branch (DB) of Police, the dead bullet ridden body of a Jamaat-e-Islami supported Union Parishad member was discovered by police at Mamunshia village under Sadar upazila of Jhenaidah district on Monday morning.

The deceased was identified as Hafez Abul Kalam, 40, Union Parishad member of 8 no. ward Elangi union under Kotchandpur upazila of Jhenaidah district and resident of the area. 

Gopalpur Police in charge Shibupod Prasad said that his men recovered the body from a field of Bakultala area of the Mamunshia village after being informed by locals at around 6 am. He confirmed that the dead body of the UP member had been shot and there were signs where bullets had entered through his chest and neck.

Kotchandpur district OC Fazlur Rahman said that there were 9 political cases lodged against the deceased including attack on police, weapons confiscation and setting fire to Awami League offices.

"Crossfire" for 4 lakh taka ? 

Abul Kalam’s family however, had a different story to tell. They informed the media that Abul Kalam had been initially abducted and later killed by state security forces themselves. Abul Kalam’s body was found within 72 hours of being arrested by the police. As per the personal statement of his wife Hasina Begum, her husband was taken away by Kotchandpur police led by S.I. Mizan at 11 am on Friday the 18th of April.

Hasina Begum said, “Since my husband was at home bare-chested, I wanted to give him a shirt as he was being taken away, but the police refused. At the time of the arrest, S.I. Mizan was wearing a white Bangla New Year fotuwa (short sleeved light garment). After being arrested, he was first taken to Gurpara police camp and tortured. When people began to gather hearing the screams of the tortured man, police promptly lathi-charged and dispersed the gathering. They then carried him away to an unknown location in a white microbus (Dhaka Metro-Gha-11-2231). That was the last I heard of my husband.”      

When a relative of the family of the abducted person communicated with S.I. Mizan, he demanded 4,00,000 taka at one point for ensuring that Abul Kalam would be brought up to court and not killed in a “crossfire” incident. Due to the fact that it was the weekend Friday-Saturday holiday, the banks were closed and the family was unable to gather the money demanded by the police officer. They managed to raise around 70,000 – 75,000 taka from their fellow villagers, but sadly, this was not enough to appease the police officer who had threatened to kill Abul Kalam. Affirmatively, he returned four days later, a dead body.             

Picture: Face of the Shaheed at his Namaaz-e-janaza.

Local Jamaat called for a dawn to dusk shutdown on Tuesday in Kotchandpur and Maheshpur upazilas of the district protesting the extrajudicial killing of UP member Hafez Abul Kalam and demanding justice for the deceased. His namaaz-e-janaza was attended by hundreds of people at his native village.

Picture: Hundreds of people at the namaaz e janaza of Abul Kalam

We strongly protest the continued trend of disappearances and  extrajudicial killings taking place with the blessings of the illegal regime in Bangladesh and ask for human rights organisations both nationwide and worldwide along with common citizens to raise their voices against the widespread abuse of human rights happening right now in the country. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Overwhelming Injustice in the name of Delivering Justice: The Case of Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee

The International War Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh was set up to try those accused of crimes against humanity in the Liberation War of 1971. Till date, the accused facing trial has consisted of almost the entire dock of the central leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, the largest Islam based party in the country and key ally in the main 19 party opposition alliance. One of the accused facing trial at the tribunal is Naib-e-Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee, worldwide renowned orator and Islamic scholar.  He was arrested back in 2010, along with other central leaders of Jamaat in a politically motivated blasphemy case and was later accused of war crimes. Like all the cases before the Tribunal, the trial and subsequent judgment of Allama Sayedee were internationally condemned due to the established and widely reported levels of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct and persistent intervention by the Government of Bangladesh to ensure convictions.

The International Crimes Tribunal on October 3rd 2011 brought 20 charges against Jamaat-e-Islami Naib-e-Amir Allama Delawar Hossain Sayedee on charges of committing crimes against humanity and others during the 1971 Liberation War. The charges against Allama Sayedee brought under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 are published here in brief:

1. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee as a member of Peace (shanti) Committee carried secret information to the Pakistan army about a gathering of a group of people behind the Madhya Masimpur bus-stand under Pirojpur Sadar and took the army to the spot. The army killed 20 unnamed people by firing.

2. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee along with his accomplices accompanied by the Pakistan army looted goods of members of the Hindu community living in Masimpur Hindu Para under Pirojpur Sadar. They also set the houses of Hindus alight and opened fire on the scared people, who started fleeing from the scene, with 13 people being killed.

3. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee led a team of the Pakistan army to Masimpur Hindu Para, where the team looted goods from the houses of two members of the Hindu community - - Monindra Nath Mistri and Suresh Chandra Mondol - - and completely destroyed their houses by setting them on fire. Sayedee also directly took part in the large-scale destruction by setting fire to the roadside houses of villages Kalibari, Masimpur, Palpara, Sikarpur, Razarhat, Kukarpara, Dumur Tola, Kalamtola, Nawabpur, Alamkuthi, Dhukigathi, Parerha and Chinrakhali.

4. On May 4, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices, accompanied by the Pakistani army looted the houses of members of the Hindu community and opened fire indiscriminately on them in front of Dhopa Bari and behind the LGED Building in Pirojpur, leaving four persons killed.

5. Sayedee declared publicly to arrest Saif Mizanur Rahman, then deputy magistrate of Pirojpur Sub-division, when the magistrate organised a Sarbo Dalio Sangram Parishad to inspire people to join the Liberation War. On May 5, 1971, Sayedee along with his associate Monnaf (now deceased), a member of Peace (Shanti) Committee, accompanied by the Pakistan army picked up Saif from the hospital where he was hiding and took him to the banks of river Baleshwar. On the same date and time, Foyezur Rahman Ahmed, sub-divisional police officer, and Abdur Razzak (SDO in charge of Pirojpur), were also arrested from their workplaces and taken to the river bank. Sayedee as a member of the killer squad was present there and all three government officials were gunned down. Their bodies were thrown into the river Baleshwar. Sayedee directly participated and abetted in the acts of abduction and killing of those three officers.

6. On May 7, 1971, Sayedee identified the houses and shops of Bangalees belonging to the Awami League, Hindu community and supporters of the Liberation War at Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar. Sayedee as one of the perpetrators raided those shops and houses and looted away valuables, including 22 seers of gold and silver from the shop of one Makhanlal Shaha.

7. On May 8, 1971, Sayedee led a team of the Pakistan army to the house of Nurul Islam Khan, where he identified Nurul Islam as an Awami League leader and his son Shahidul Islam Selim as a freedom-fighter to the army. Sayedee then detained Nurul Islam and handed him to the army, which tortured Nurul Islam. His house was then looted and finally set on fire.

8. On May 8, 1971, Sayedee and his accomplices accompanied by the Pakistan army raided the house of one Manik Posari at Chitholia under Pirojpur Sadar and caught his brother Mofizuddin and one Ibrahim Kutti. Sayedee's accomplices then burnt five houses there. On the way to the Pakistani army's camp, Sayedee instigated the members of the occupation force to kill Ibrahim Kutti by gunshot and dump his body near a bridge. On the other hand, Mofiz was taken to the army camp and tortured. Sayedee directly participated in the abduction, murder and persecution of the victims.

9. On June 2, 1971, armed associates of Sayedee under his leadership and accompanied by the Pakistani army raided the house of one Abdul Halim Babul at Nolbunia under Indurkani Police Station and looted valuables from Halim's house. The team then razed the house to ashes.

10. On June 2, 1971, Sayedee's armed associates under his leadership and accompanied by the Pakistan army burnt 25 houses of a Hindu Para in Umedpur village under Indurkani Police Station. At one stage, a victim, Bisabali, was tied to a coconut tree and was shot dead by Sayedee's accomplice.

11. On June 2, 1971, Sayedee led a team of Peace (Shanti) Committee members, accompanied by the Pakistani army, to raid the house of Mahbubul Alam Howlader (freedom-fighter) of Tengra Khali village under Indurkani Police Station. Sayedee and the team then detained Mahbubul's elder brother Abdul Mazid Howlader and tortured him, and looted cash money, jewellery and other valuables from the house.

12. One day a group comprising 15-20 armed accomplices under Sayedee's leadership entered the Hindu Para of Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar and captured 14 Hindus, who were all supporters of Bangladesh's independence. The fourteen were then tied with a single rope and dragged to Pirojpur and handed over to Pakistani soldiers, who killed them. Their bodies were thrown into the river.

13. One night, about 2 to 3 months after the war commenced, some members of Peace Committee under Sayedee's leadership accompanied by the Pakistan army raided the house of Azhar Ali of Nalbunia village under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station. They then caught and tortured Azahar Ali and his son Shaheb Ali. The team then abducted Shaheb Ali and ultimately he was taken to Pirojpur and killed.

14. During the final stages of the war, Sayedee one morning led a team of Razakar Bahini consisting of 50 to 60 Razakars, into attacking the Hindu Para of Hoglabunia under Pirojpur Sadar. Seeing the attackers, the Hindus managed to flee but one Shefali Gharami failed to do that. Some members of Razakar Bahini entered her room and raped her. Being the leader of the team Sayedee did not prevent them from committing rape upon her. Sayedee and the members of his team also set fire to the dwelling houses of the Hindu Para.

15. During the last part of the war, Sayedee led 15 to 20 armed Razakars who entered the Hoglabunia village under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station and caught 10 members of the Hindu faith. The attackers then tied all the members of Hindu community with a single rope, dragged them to Pirojpur and handed them over to the Pakistani army. They were all killed and their bodies were dumped into the river.

16. In the course of the Liberation War, Sayedee led a group of 10-12 armed Razakars and Peace Committee members, which surrounded the house of Gouranga Saha of Parerhat Bandar under Pirojpur Sadar. Subsequently, Sayedee and the others abducted three women and handed them over to the Pakistan army at Pirojpur where they were confined and raped for three days before being released.

17. During the Liberation War, Sayedee along with other armed Razakars kept Bipod Shaha's daughter Vanu Shaha confined at Bipok Shaha's house at Parerhat under Pirojpur Sadar Police Station and regularly used to go there to rape her.

18. During the Liberation War, one Bhagirothi used to work in the camp of the Pakistan army. One day, after a fight with the freedom fighters, and at the instance of Sayedee, Bhagirothi was charged with passing information to the freedom fighters and killed.

19. During the war, Sayedee, being a member of Razakar Bahini and exercising his influence over the Hindu community of Pirojpur, converted 100-150 Hindus of Parerhat and other villages and compelled them to go to the mosque to offer prayers.

20. On a day at the end of November 1971, Sayedee got information that thousands of people were fleeing to India in order to save their lives. A group of members of the Razakar Bahini consisting of 10-12 armed forces, under Sayedee's leadership, then attacked the houses of Talukdar Bari at Indurkani village and detained a total of 85 persons and looted goods from there. Of them, all but 10-12 persons were released in exchange for bribes negotiated by Fazlul Huq, a member of the Razakar Bahini. Male persons were tortured and female persons were raped by Pakistan soldiers deployed in the camp.

On 28 February 2013 the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal (“Tribunal”) convicted Maulana Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee of eight charges of crimes against humanity and imposed a sentence of death by hanging by the neck under for two charges. 

As per the verdict, Allama Sayedee was awarded capital punishment for the offenses as listed in charge Nos. 8 and 10. The court refrained from passing any separate sentence of imprisonment for the offences listed in charges Nos.6,7,11,14,16 and 19 which it said had been proved beyond reasonable doubt. At the same time, the accused was found not guilty to the offenses of crimes against humanity as listed in charges nos. 1,2,3,4,5,9,12,13,15,17,18 and 20 and was acquitted from the said charges.

The Defence argued on appeal that the Tribunal had erred as a matter of law and fact in reaching its judgment and those errors were so fundamental that the only safe conclusion was a complete reversal on appeal. The Defence argued in its appeal that the Tribunal’s findings were so gravely unreasonable that the judgment must be overturned and his conviction be set aside.

For the past few months the appeal has been heard before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. The Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in Bangladesh, was called to rule on a number of contested issues.

In particular, the Tribunal, in one of the two charges upon which Sayedee was sentenced to death, found him guilty of abducting and killing Ibrahim Kutti in Parerhat on 8 May 1971.

The real case of Ibrahim Kutti and Allama Sayedee’s innocence:

The Defence appealed Charge 8 on the grounds that the Tribunal failed to consider an important piece of exculpatory evidence, tendered by the Defence during trial, that lends strong support to Sayedee’s contention that he did not commit the crime alleged. This contention is supported by evidence that was disregarded by both the Tribunal and the Supreme Court. This evidence is a certified copy of the initial complaint lodged by Momtaz Begum, the widow of the victim, Ibrahim Kutti, and a certified copy of the charge sheet. This demonstrates that she lodged a petition of complaint before the relevant court in Pirojpur on 8 March 1972. The complaint, in which it is alleged that soldiers of the Pakistani Army and twelve named individuals who were cooperating with the army were responsible for the murder of Ibrahim Kutti, was filed with the Pirojpur Police Station on 16 July 1972. There was even evidence adduced that the Pirojpur police at the time recorded the same in its records as Case No. 9 and on 1 July 1972, it is apparent that the police sent the file to the Court in Pirojpur where it was entered into the court records. Those records were also entered as evidence during the trial.

Chargesheet of Ibrahim Kutti murder

In the original complaint, Ms. Begum described the incident of killing of her husband Ibrahim Kutti in considerable detail. Not once is Sayedee mentioned and the timeline of the crime according to her complaint is five months later than that alleged by the Prosecution during Sayedee’s trial. While the Prosecution produced live witnesses to prove its case, it is revealing that, despite reports that Ms. Begum is still alive, she was not called as a prosecution witness. It is also critical to recall that there is a substantial time difference between the version of events contained in the initial complaint filed by Ibrahim Kutti’s widow and the case as presented by the prosecution at trial.

The Supreme Court issued an order rejecting the defence application to call for and look into the record of the case filed by Ms. Begum. Insight into the case file would have undoubtedly demonstrated conclusively that Sayedee had no involvement in the murder of Ibrahim Kutti. It is established practice that the record of the subordinate courts are inspected by the Superior Courts where there are conflicting claims by the parties. The fact that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has again shamelessly departed from this time honoured practice regrettably speaks volumes about the government control on the process.

This is yet another example in a large catalogue that demonstrates the nature of what independent observers have termed a miscarriage of justice. The Tribunal was provided with evidence that clearly exculpates Sayedee from a charge with which he has now been sentenced to death. At the very least, the mere existence of this evidence (discounting the prosecution’s unsubstantiated accusations that they are forged copies concocted by the Defence) casts doubt on the Tribunal’s conclusion that Mr. Sayedee is responsible for the murder of Ibrahim Kutti. It is deeply regrettable that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has refused to enquire further.

Court’s refusal to enter Sukharanjan Bali’s (brother of murdered Bisha Bali) assertion of Sayedee’s innocence as evidence:

The second issue concerns the Defence request to admit evidence of a video interview of the witness Shukharanjan Bali and other documents relating to his well-documented abduction from the Tribunal premises. It will be recalled that Shukharanjan Bali was to be called as a prosecution witness to testify firstly that his brother, Bisha Bali, had been killed by persons other than Sayedee and secondly that members of the Investigative Agency and Prosecution had put forward a false statement thereby perverting course of justice. On 5 November 2012 when Shukharanjan Bali was due to give evidence for the Defence members of the Bangladesh law enforcement agencies abducted him on the grounds of the Tribunal. He was heldin custody for several weeks and repeatedly tortured and then thrown over the border into India where he remains to this day. Both the Tribunal and the Supreme Court refused to hear evidence concerning this event that clearly demonstrates the case against Sayedee is fundamentally flawed and that members of the Government have conspired to pervert the course of justice.

Video: Sukharanjan Bali's original statement asserting Allama Sayedee's innocence before abduction

It is universally accepted in both national and international law that it is the duty, in any criminal case, of the Prosecutor to not only disclose but actively investigate whether there is any evidence which undermines the prosecution case or assists the Defence case. It has been repeatedly argued that the Prosecutors appearing before the Tribunal, and now the Supreme Court, are incapable of discharging their duties professional and independently in circumstances where they, rather than investigate legitimate lines of inquiry that undermines their case, actively attempt to conceal any exculpatory material. It is unfortunately a practice reflecting what has been the norm during these trials, that with such important evidence presented to the judges at the Tribunal in a case where the accused is on trial for his life, the judges have dismissed these concerns as unworthy even of consideration. Whilst there have been serious criticisms leveled at the Judges and Prosecutors at the Tribunal, one would have expected the Supreme Court Justices to demonstrate a greater desire to inquire into the truth.

While arguably no longer surprising, it remains deeply disturbing, despite the Tribunal being repeatedly exposed as inherently flawed and the accused in each of the trials before it denied any semblance of a fair trial, that such matters are still coming to light. In short, the Government of Bangladesh has not only turned a blind eye to justice and a deaf ear to international condemnation in respect of these trials, it has been instrumental in ensuring that those on trial are convicted and executed. After the infamous change in legislation to allow the Supreme Court to impose a death sentence on appeal in the case of Abul Qader Mollah (who has since been executed), a move which attracted a surge of international outrage, and the unprecedented step of attempting to put on trial a political party under a fallacious doctrine of collective responsibility, one may not hold any high hopes of a just result being delivered by the Supreme Court in circumstances where it has been willfully ignorant of upholding fundamental fair trial rights and refuses to entertain any exculpatory evidence or consider any error by the Tribunal in failing to consider such principles.
Sadly, the lack of any meaningful or effective international intervention means that the trials will continue as they have since the start. As a consequence, the international community’s, and that of the Government of Bangladesh, oft-affirmed commitment to its obligations under international human rights treaties and customary international law is starting to sound increasingly hollow.

This is now an opportunity for the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, the last bastion of protection, to disregard the pressure of the Government and deliver a just verdict thereby acquitting Sayedee and ordering a retrial before an independent and impartial tribunal of law.

(1) Defence Statement: Following the Conclusion of the Appeal Proceedings in the Case of the Chief Prosecutor v. Maulana Sayedee by Toby Cadman, Barrister-at-law, Foreign Counsel for Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Biography of Maulana Nizami (Ameer, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami)

Maulana Nizami is the Ameer (Chief) of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He is the elected Parliament Member for two terms (1991-95 & 2001-2006). He is the former Agriculture Minister (2001-2003) and Industry Minister (2003-2006) of Bangladesh. He is also the permanent Member of the Muslim World League (Rabita) which is the Central Co-Ordination Committee among International Islamic Organizations and Centres. He was the Central President (1969-1971) of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba Pakistan, which was then the largest student organization of Pakistan. He did his Masters in Islamic law with distinction. He is a Graduate of Dhaka University (DU). Maulana Nizami is a Prominent Islamic Scholar & Author of 54 valuable books in different disciplines. He was named as one of the most top 50 Influential Muslims of the World in 2009 by USA based prestigious “the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre”. Currently he has been imprisoned by the ruling Party (Bangladesh Awami League).

Education and Childhood: 
Motiur Rahman Nizami was born on the 31st of March, 1943 at the village of Monmothpur of Sathia upazila at Pabna. His father late Lutfur Rahman Khan was a pious and God-fearing man. This contributed to a predominantly ethical and religious upbringing throughout his childhood. He began his education from the primary school at Monmothpur. He then went on to enroll at Boalmari madrassah at Sathia. Throughout his student life, he showed his calibre as a meritorious student through consistent brilliance in various examinations. In 1955, he secured first class in his Dakhil examinations. In 1959, Nizami stood the 16th in his Board while securing first class from Shivpur Toha Senior Madrassah at Pabna in his Alim (equivalent to Matriculation) Examinations. In 1961, he passed his Fazil (Honours) examinations from the same madrassah, again securing first division.

At the time he was studying at Shivpur Toha Senior Madrassah, Maulana Nizami started an organization with some meritorious, dedicated and promising like-minded students in order to play an important role in setting up a platform to allow general students to develop and showcase their skills and talents.  Maulana Nizami understood the importance of organization and the role it could play in improving people’s lives and the society in general early on in his student life. This far-sighted outlook was instrumental in attracting him towards the Islamic movement.

To further pursue higher studies in the madrassah education system, he enrolled in the erstwhile beacon in Islamic education, the Dhaka Alia Madrassah. In a short time, he became well known among general students at the institution for his merit and prowess in studies. During his days as a student at this madrassah, he came into contact with the Islami Chatra Sangha, a very popular student organization which worked for spearheading an Islamic movement amongst students. The strikingly well organized activities of Islami Chatra Sangha very much attracted Nizami to the ideology of the organization.

With his acumen, he was successful at both his studies and being highly active in student movements. He obtained ‘Kamil’ (Masters) in Fiqh (Islamic Law) degree with first Class from Madrasah-e-Alia, Dhaka in 1963 where he secured the second place in the Education Board. Afterwards, he enrolled into Dhaka University and completed his B.A with distinction in 1967.

Contribution to the student movement: 
Maulana Nizami actively engaged in politics as a Student activist of Jukto Front (United Front) in 1954. In 1961, he answered the call to the Islamic movement through joining the Islami Chatra Sangha. At the time, madrassah students were actively campaigning for various demands, including the establishment of an Islamic university and the chance to allow madrassah students to enroll in general universities. This movement intensified in the period of 1962-63, and Maulana Nizami, during his days as a student of Kamil final year, played the leading role in the intense movement, the demands of which were accepted by the erstwhile government after a huge turnout of students at the Sohrawardy Uddyan in support of the movement and its demands in 1963.

In the 1963-64 session, the base of Islami Chatra Sangha became stronger as it gained widespread popularity amongst the student community. At about the same time, the erstwhile Ayub government increased surveillance on the Chatra Sangha. On 6th January 1964, Jamaat-e-Islami was banned in Pakistan with a view to curtail the spread of the Islamic movement. However, supporters of Jamaat continued their political activities through forums such as the COP, PDM and the DAC.  
Maulana Nizami dispensed his duties as the Central office secretary of Islami Chatra Sangha through the period of 1962-66. He was then given the duty of leading the East Pakistan wing of Islami Chatra Sangha in 1966, at a time of great political upheaval and social unrest. He continued at this capacity for three consecutive years. Later he was elected the central President (Nazim-e-Alla) of Nikhil Pakistan Islami Chatra Sangha and continued to serve the organization for two consecutive terms.

The student education movement under the leadership of Maulana Nizami is a shining example of the erstwhile student politics. In 1967-68, the education week was held by general students. On this occasion, two booklets “Education problems- Education crisis” and “The Reformation of the education system” were published. Through his leadership of the movement, both Nizami and the organization he represented, the Islami Chatra Sangha, gained widespread popularity during this period.

During the peak of the anti- Ayub movement, an activist of Chatra Union, Asad was killed due to violence. Despite strong ideological differences, Maulana Nizami arrived at the absentia funeral of Asad and was invited by the student leaders who were present to lead the funeral prayers, whereby he obliged. From this, it can be understood that despite differences in opinion, Mawlana Nizami was respected by all as an influential student leader of his time.

Early career: 
Maulana Nizami started his career as a research fellow at Islamic Research Academy in Dhaka in 1971. Before starting a career of full time Da’yee (Islamic Preacher), he was also involved in journalism and translation works for a few years.

Career in wider Islamic Movement:
At the end of his student life, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami joined Jamaat-e-Islami on the 30th of September 1971. Gradually he rose up the ranks and performed his duties as Jamaat-e-Islami Dhaka City Ameer and member of the Central Executive Council for the period of 1979-1982. In 1983 he was selected as an Assistant Secretary General of the party and continued to do so till 1988. For twelve years, from 1988 to 2000, he dispersed his duties as the Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami. On the 19th of November 2000, he was elected as the Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, a position he continues to be entrusted with till today.

National Politics: 
He is a staunch advocate for democracy. In the past he actively participated in all political and democratic movements which included anti-Ayub Movement in 1969, mass movement against autocratic government in 1990 and movement for holding election under Caretaker Government from 1994 to 1996. He is still playing significant roles for strengthening the democratic process in the country.

Member of Parliament: 
Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami first participated in national elections in 1986 from Pabna-1 (Sathia-Bera) constituency. He again stood from the same constituency in the national elections of 1991 where he was elected as the Member of Parliament from Pabna-1 for the 5th national elections. In 2001, he was again elected from the same constituency as a Member of Parliament. His tenure at Parliament was marked by constructive and balanced debates whereby he stood out for his clear, informative, timely and objective stand on issues of both national and international importance. Throughout his tenures at Parliament, he played a leading role as head of the Jamaat parliamentarian body.

Role as Minister:
On the 10th of October 2001, Maulana Nizami was assigned the duty to lead the Ministry of Agriculture. On the 22nd of May 2003, he was given the responsibility of leading the Ministry of Industries. He dispersed his duties at both ministries to much renowned acclaim.   

Minister of Agricultural Affairs (2001-2003):
The economy of Bangladesh heavily relies upon agriculture. Almost 85% people of this country is financially dependent on agricultural activities. Maulana Nizami took the responsibility as a Minister for Agriculture of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on 10th October 2001. After he took the responsibility as a Minister of Agriculture, he concentrated more on the modernisation of agricultural sector and the socio-economic improvement of the poor farmers. He was particularly keen and worked hard to ensure fair price of crops for the farmers, continuous supply of seeds, fertilisers and others agricultural accessories. He regularly organised workshops with the agricultural experts and farmers to pinpoint the problems of the sector and took practical measures to resolve these. To motivate farmers, agriculturists and grass root level agricultural supervisors, he travelled across the country, listened to their problems and took immediate actions.

To make the farmers financially solvent and to reduce deficiency of vegetable supply, he introduced a new project named as “Farmer’s house is a house of Garden” (Chashir bari Bagan bari). As a result, the economic life of the farmers have been changed significantly because of the successful implementation of this project.

Maulana Nizami also introduced fruit tree plantation project. In order to make the project more effective, the Ministry of Agriculture organised fruit fairs on a regular basis for which the people became encourage to plant, preserve and nurture fruit trees. The Ministry also distributed seeds among the people. It was because of the project that people came to know about rare types of fruits, their medicine values and financial and environmental importance of preserving those. Maulana Nizami personally supervised these projects and travelled across the country to ensure their successful accomplishments.

Rice is the staple food of the country. A huge amount of rice was destroyed in Bangladesh because of rat attack. The supply of rice also significantly reduced by the attack of insects on the paddy fields. To minimise those damages, Maulana Nizami took initiative to create awareness and to train the farmers how to protect their crops from such problems.

Maulana Nizami is also the pioneer in the development of Agro based industries in Bangladesh. He particularly concentrated to develop practical and logistic support and facilities to the vegetable exporters in order to ensure proper advancement of this industry. During his tenure the Ministry of Agriculture organised on a regular basis agricultural fair across the country by which farmers used to get opportunity to exhibit their products before the national and international customers as well as people were encouraged to engage in agro based industries.

During his tenure Maulana Nizami also worked for strengthening the seed wing of the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation. He conducted a national survey of the soil quality of the country and regularly monitored the advancement of the agricultural research wings.

Maulana Nizami also represented Bangladesh agricultural sector in International arena. He led Bangladeshi delegation to World Food Conference in Rome, Italy and to the World Rice Research Organisation’s Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

Maulana Nizami was tremendously successful as a Minister of Agricultural Affairs. Many consider his honesty, integrity and sincerity as the main determinant factors of his success. According to the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) reports the Ministry of Agriculture was rated as one of the least corrupted Ministries of the country during the tenure of Maulana Nizami.

Minister of Industrial Affairs (2003-2006): 
Industrial sector is the backbone of a nation. However, in Bangladesh this sector always encountered difficult challenges to grow until Maulana Nizami became the Minister Industries in Bangladesh. He took charge as a Minister of Industries on 25th May 2003. After taking the responsibility, he sought to pin point the problems of this sector. For that he organised series of workshops with the stakeholders. Based on those workshops, he adopted long term and short term national industrial policies and took practical and effective measures to address the problems. One of the important features of his industrial policy was to adopt separate policies for micro and medium industries. The ministry declared 32 industrial sectors as the thrust sectors and took special care for their improvement. In order to guide the industries to the right direction and to provide them much needed logistic support, he formed a steering committee. The committee used to sit on a regular basis to review the improvement and took necessary actions for further advancement.

In order to fulfil the growing demand of mixed fertilizer, for example, the government during his time established two industries of phosphatic fertilizer and die ammonium phosphate fertilizer. He also took initiatives to reopen numbers of closed industries. Among those are the Karnafuli Paper mills, Khulna Hardboard mill, North Bengal Paper mills, Dhaka Lather Company are prominent. He also took initiatives to utilise abandon properties of closed government owned industries. During his time industrial parks were established in Chittagong Chemical Complex and in Khulna Newsprint Mills area.

Maulana Nizami also modernised the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) which is the quality control authority of the goods of the domestic markets. He modernised and made up to date the BSTI Act which guaranteed the consumers’ rights. He also ensured proper supervision of the markets in order to prevent adulteration of the consumers products. The anti-adulteration drive of the Ministry in the domestic markets was a huge success that was applauded from every corner.

In order to enrich the production of vitamin and mineral rich much needed foods, the government formed ‘Food Fortification Alliance’ in coordination of different Ministries in 2003. Maulana Nizami was the convenor of the alliance. The primary goal of the alliance was to enrich foods in order to fulfil nutrition demand of the people. The alliance successfully accomplished number of projects. Some of those were jointly organised with international organisations like ‘USAID’, ‘MOST’ and ‘GAIN’.

Maulana Nizami was particularly keen to ensure proper women’s participation in the advancement of industrial sector. He took initiative to establish “Self-Employment for Rural Destitute Women In Bangladesh Through Cottage Industries Trust”. Through this trust he sought socio-economical improvement of the poor and neglected women of the rural areas of Bangladesh.

The demand of sugar in Bangladesh is 12,00,000 metric tons per year. However, the government owned ‘Bangladesh Sugar Corporation’ were always running in huge deficit. In 2001-2002 fiscal year, the loss of this sector was 1 billion and 180 million taka. After taking the responsibility as a Minister of Industries, Maulana Nizami was able to reduce that huge deficit to 180 million taka only. In the year 2004-2005, for the first time in the history of Bangladesh “Bangladesh Sugar Corporation” made profit and the net profit was 700 million taka.

Bangladesh also has huge deficiency in salt production. Maulana Nizami worked for the improvement of salt production so that in one hand more people could find employment and on the other hand the export cost could be reduced. The production of salt in 2001-2002 was 775,000 metric tons where as in year 2004-2005 it was increased to 935,000 metric ton. That became possible merely because the Ministry helped the farmers to improve and modernise the infrastructures of their industries.

In order to protect intellectual property rights the Ministry under the leadership of Maulana Nizami established “Patent, Design and Trademark Bureau” in 13th May 2003. The century’s old “The Patent and Design Act 1911” and “Trademark Act 1940” were also amended during his time as required in the context of modern time. In addition, he took the initiative to establish “Intellectual Property Institute” with the help of “World Intellectual Property Organization”.

His efforts for the improvement of the industrial sector paid off so much so that within three years of his tenure in 2004-2005 fiscal year the contribution to the GDP from this sector improved to 16.58% which was 15.67% in 2001-2002 fiscal year. At the same year the growth of the sector was 6.44% which was improved to 7.48% in 2004-2005 fiscal year.

According to the observation of analysts, as indicated above, it was Maulan Nizami’s honesty, integrity and sincerity which contributed to his brilliant success as per Allah’s help & will. The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) rated the Ministries run by Maulana Nizami as one of the least corrupted Ministries during his tenure. In the year 2006 he successfully completed his tenure as a Minister. Despite the fact that the following interim government was too critical to the previous government, so much so that almost all the Ministries were identified as grossly corrupted, but they could not find anything wrong against the Ministries run by Maulana Nizami which fact testifies the transparency and honesty of Maulana Nizami.

Social Welfare Activities: 
Maulana Nizami has gained a good reputation of a selfless social worker. He contributed to the establishment and development of countless educational institutes, religious and cultural centers and Mosques across the country. In his constituency of Shanthia-Bera alone, he established more than 100 mosques. He played an important role in the establishment of the rights of the students of Madrasah, and religious institutions. Because of his efforts, in 2002, the then coalition government recognized such neglected degrees of Madrasah Education Board like Fadil as equivalent to its conventional counterpart “Bachelor” and Kamil as equivalent to its conventional “Masters” degrees. He is also actively involved in numerous socio-educational and research organizations. As a Member of Parliament he untiringly worked for the socio-economical advancement of general masses especially for the people of his constituency. During his tenures the infrastructural development of the most undeveloped and neglected region Santhia-Bera was built up in the real sense of the term. Countless roads, highways, schools, colleges, Madrasahs, mosques etc. were set up, developed and repaired.

Leader of Global Muslim Ummah: 
Regardless of his preoccupation he travelled more than 20 countries across the world, met dignitaries and Ulama and played his part for the causes of Muslim Ummah. Since 2002, he is an influential member of “the central co-ordination committee among International Islamic Organizations and Centers” of the Muslim World League. Because of his struggle for the causes of Muslim Ummah, in 2009, a USA based prestigious “the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre” declared Maulana Nizami as one of the top 50 most Influential Muslims of the world.

Suffering in the way of Allah: 
Maulana Nizami became a target of his enemies for his uncompromised commitment to Islamic politics based on democratic values, peace and justice. He was persecuted because of his stand against terrorism. In 27 May, 1991, in a conference against terrorism in student campuses, he was brutally attacked and badly injured by the Students of Bangladesh Chattra League (Student wing of the current ruling party Bangladesh Awami League). He was an elected Member of Parliament (MP) at that time and this sudden brutal attack on him took place in the premises of such prestigious highest educational institution of the country like the Dhaka University and yet in the office of the University’s Vice Chancellor (chief executive and academic officer). The shameful picture of his wounded and blood bathed face was the leading news of all the news papers published on the following day. He is still suffering from back pain sustained from that attack.

In year 2006, after finishing off his tenure as a Minister, the then military backed caretaker government tried to persecute all influential political personalities including Maulana Nizami. Despite the fact that they did not find any irregularity in his flawless personal, organizational and ministerial activities, and notwithstanding his archenemies’ testimonies that he is an upright and honest person, nonetheless, as part of their plan, the military backed government arrested him twice in connection with some fictitious cases. The then government claimed that there were some secret deals behind some decisions of the former cabinet. Just because Maulana Nizami was an ordinary member of the cabinet, they connected him with those cases. He was in prison for two months. However, later the High Court granted him permanent bail and the successive government is no longer interested in running those cases.

Following an apparently landslide victory in 2008 Parliament Election with the help of some conspirators and anti-Bangladesh interests groups, the Awami League government planned to eliminate Jamaat from the political field. As part of their plan they are conspiring to ban religion based politics and already arrested almost all top Jamaat leaders including Maulana Nizami. On 29th 2010 June the government arrested him along with Maulana Delwar Hossain Saydee, the Nayeeb-e-Ameer of Jamaat and Ali Ahsan Mujahid, the Jamaat’s Secretary General in connection with a fictitious case of hearting religious sentiment of the masses. Later he was shown arrested in connection with 9 more political motivated cases although the initial charge on which he was arrested was proven as illegal. Finally, in order to ensure his long time imprisonment without any trial, the government, through the war crimes tribunal, ordered to keep him arrested until further notice.

On the 30th of January 2014, Maulana Nizami along with former minister Lutfozzaman Babar was awarded death sentence along with 12 others for the 10 truck weapons incident in Chittagong back in 2004 (Nizami’s name was not present in the original case files, but added later during the tenure of present government) in what was widely thought to be a politically motivated sentence. The case is under appeal.


1) https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=410288655713443&story_fbid=426949450714030

2) মাওলানা মতিউর রহমান নিজামী এর সংক্ষিপ্ত জীবনী : The Daily Sangram

Friday, April 11, 2014

The story of Karima El Serfy, one among 22,000 illegal Egyptian detainees

'Excuse me, can I just put my scarf on..?!'
'Someone give me something to cover myself with.. please'

These were the last words Karima El Serfy was heard saying before the line abruptly cut off as the military police savagely knocked down the front door of the apartment where she was staying by herself after the illegal detention of her father and brother.

Here's exactly what happened on the day of her arrest WITHOUT a warranty and without any charges!!!

On 29th of March at 8:15pm, a security force consisting of 5 Police cars, 2 of which were special operations units surrounded Number 93, Northern Youth Accommodation, 1st Aggregation.

At 8:21pm, Karima was sitting in her room speaking to one of her colleagues on the phone to suddenly hear the front door to her apartment smash and at least 20 armed men storm into her room. 'Excuse me, can I just put my scarf on..?!', 'Someone give me something to cover myself with.. please' were the last words her colleague heard before the line got cut off.

For about 3 hours many of the young men in her area tried to intervene and release her from the hands of those savage animals but this only lead to the assault of one of them and the detention of another two.

At 12 midnight, her brother managed to hover around the apartment block to see the security forces leaving the area after they dumped the 2 young men they had detained earlier.

Her brother asked around to find out that the security forces stormed their house, held his sister and terrorized her for over 3 hours and then left with many bags full of valuables and property from the apartment. He then entered the apartment to find it turned upside down and wrecked with a lot of basic furniture stolen. He also found Karima's jacket on the floor, wet with many tears.

'Karima is not here!', was the reply he got at the police station in the 1st Aggregation.

'News of the detention of Karima El Serfy in one of the State Security buildings', 'News of Karima's detention in a police station in New Cairo', 'News of Karima's deportation to Al Qanater Prison' – were all what her brother and friends heard in the following 24 hours.

'New of a sudden hearing by the Supreme State Security Prosecution court for Karima's father Dr. Ameen El Serfy (Dr Mohamed Morsi's private secretary) on the same day of her kidnapping?!!!

Many questions are raised around whether Karima's arrest was to humiliate her father and weaken him as he sees with his own eyes his daughter being assaulted in front of him?!

On Monday, the 31st of March, Mohamed Ibrahim, the Minister of Internal Affairs, came out to announce a new case with which Karima El Sefry has now being charged. The evening of the same day he obnoxiously requested that all talk of Karima's kidnap be stopped in order that her release be guaranteed.

Tuesday, 1st of April: 'State Security will not release Karima because her friends have published her story'!!! News of Karima's investigation, detention and deportation were by now floating around widely. Karima suddenly disappeared and was taken to an unknown location.

***Karima Ameen Abdel Hameed El Serfy, A 20-year-old, second year student of Law and Shariah in Al Azhar University is kidnapped and her location is currently unknown.***

Is this what you call a country???!!!

Karema is only a simple example of the chaos our brothers and sisters face on a daily basis in Egypt at the moment. There occurs many a kidnapping and disappearance that goes unheard of and un-investigated by the 'Security' forces which, ironically enough, have been in reality terrorising this nation.

Egypt has become the Republic of Secret Prisons and Police Departments where State Security and The Intelligence Service detain people, assault them and commit extreme human rights violation without being interrupted.

Karima has now joined 22,000 other detainees without charges in Egypt. What happens to them daily? What will happen to Karima El Serfy or Amr Rabee or Mohamed Ramadan or Malek Anas or Mohamed Yehia??

You may be wondering what you can do to help them. So why not:

1. Translate their story into another language to let the world know of the human rights violations taking place in Egypt?
2. Share it in groups, forums, Facebook, Twitter, Newspapers. Be their voice, get them heard!
3. Sign petitions for Human Rights Organizations to investigate these cases
4. Gather your family and friends and tell them these stories to enlighten them with this curse that has hit Egypt.

There's a lot to do if you are committed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lakho Konthe Exposed: Episode 5, Bangabandhu, Bangabandhu Everywhere

The Lakho Konthe program may be history for now, but it highlights something important. The issue at hand is the politics of reinforcement of a historical perspective. Solely trying to associate Sheikh Mujib with the occasion of March 26 1971, the Independence Day of Bangladesh (as in the case of the Lakho Konthe occasion), and also other national days is in itself not a crime. The crime is the obliteration of the names and signs of the other contributors to the history of Bangladesh, namely people like Maulana Bhashani, MAG Osmani and President Ziaur Rahman among countless others.

Lakho Konthe stage prominently featuring Sheikh Mujib

If Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman deserves this amount of representation due to a fiery speech on the 7th of March 1971, then the others deserve loads more for what they did for the country around the same time. And I’m NOT bringing into the equation how Sheikh Mujib verifiably screwed up the nascent country called Bangladesh during his governance post 1971.    

Lakho Konthe singing stage with nothing but a big fat slice of Sheikh Mujib

The Lakho Konthe guest stand and the singing stage was filled with huge pictures of Bangabandhu, while the sea of people hummed to the tunes of the national anthem with a picture of Bangabandhu imprinted on their caps. Even the program ended with the customary slogan of “Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu”.

The caps at the Lakho Konthe event. Its all about the Pa of the nation.

Some may shirk it off as a simple political event, but the fact remains that around 300,000 people attended the program, a feat in itself. Spending time and money in sending a message to 300,000 people is no isolated feat, it’s a deliberate attempt at modifying and superimposing a deliberate version of history.

Not an isolated feat:

The nefariously intentioned pictures of Sheikh Mujib are not just occasional appearances in television and road signs, they are plastered everywhere. One such widely seen example is the face of Sheikh Mujib on the currency notes. Although faces of the father of the nation on currency notes is nothing much to be go gaga about given the fact that the Awami League has been in power for half a decade now, the fact that his is the only face that is found on all notes except the 1 taka note is something to be wary of, given the fact that not another single leader is featured in this regard. The simple question remains. Are we not justified in claiming that this is a deliberate attempt at distorting history?

Below are images of the various denominations of the taka notes (the full set, I may add), all featuring Sheikh Mujib.

Absolutely not an isolated feat:

On December 14 2009, the cabinet led by Sheikh Hasina at its weekly meeting on December 14, agreed in principle to change the name of the country's main airport from Zia International Airport and rename it after the great saint Hazrat Shahjalal (RA). A decision also was made to rename those institutions and installations whose names were changed following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujior Rahman in 1975.  

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who presided over the meeting, was requested by the Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam to change the name of Zia International Airport. The prime minister asked all present to propose the new name and the name of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) was approved. The cost of the renaming operation cost the nation 1400 crore taka.

Past examples show us that the successive governments led by AL have renamed the Institute of Post Graduate Studies in Agriculture at Gazipur as Bangabandhu Agricultural University in 1996, the PG Hospital as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Jamuna bridge to Bangabandhu Bridge, Bhashani Novo theatre to Bangabandhu Novo theatre and have most recently renamed the Bangladesh-China Friendship Convention Centre as the Bangabandhu Convention Centre.

It is mentionable that the BNP initiated a few changes as well, such as changing the Ershad Army stadium to Army stadium, the Chittagong airport (initially named after M.A. Hannan) to Shah Amanat Airport and the Chandrima Uddyan to Zia Uddyan. The name changes by the BNP when it was in power stem from reactionary politics initiated by this aggressive stance by the AL when it was in power.

So be wary folks. Set aside those chetona sunglasses and open your eyes to how your history is being edited.