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7 March 2013

The World News Headlines Rushanara Ali MP slams decision to divert money to army

This Week US, Saudis warn Iran, Syria

The United States and Saudi Arabia have presented a united front to Iran and Syria, alerting Iran’s leadership that patience over its alleged nuclear ambitions is wearing thin and warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that they will boost support to rebels unless he steps down. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, was in Saudi Arabia on Monday on the latest leg of a nine-nation tour through Europe and the Middle East on his first overseas trip as Washington’s top diplomat.


ollowing the news that Prime Minister David Cameron is considering diverting money from the UK’s aid budget to defencerelated projects, Rushanara Ali MP, Shadow Minister for International Development, said: “I am deeply concerned that David Cameron has said that hundreds of millions of pounds of aid money could be diverted to defence operations. David Cameron is the co-chair of the UN’s High Level Panel on the Post2015 Development Agenda. “He should be making a strong case against the militarisation of aid. Instead, he is showing weak leadership on this issue in a clear attempt to placate his Tory backbenchers who are fiercely opposed to ring-fencing the aid budget, which helps some of the poorest people in the world. “He should not claim to honour Labour’s 0.7% aid spending commitment while at the same time tying development aid to defence. Cameron’s empty rhetoric on international development has failed to detoxify the Tory brand.” Ivan Lewis MP and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development said: “David Cameron’s comments on aid and defence spending are a cynical attempt to appease his right wing backbenchers and another example of his weak leadership. One day, he claims credit for honouring Labour’s 0.7% aid spending commitment. The next, he seeks to pander to Tory MPs who are implacably opposed to this policy.”

Syrian rebels capture city

The celebrated religious leader Dilwar Hussain Sayedee has been sentenced to death, leading to several days of riots across Bangladesh

Dilwar Hussein Sayedee sentenced to death


Bangladesh war crimes tribunal has sentenced a leader of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party to death, the third verdict by the court set up to investigate abuses during the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Delwar Hossain Sayedee, 73, vice-president of the party, was found guilty of charges of mass killing, rape, arson, looting and religious persecution during the liberation war, lawyers and tribunal officials said on Thursday. “The verdict has appropriately demonstrated justice. We are happy,” state prosecutor Haider Ali told reporters. Lawyers for the defendant boycotted the tribunal during the verdict. “I didn’t commit any crime and the judges are not giving the verdict from the core of their heart,” Sayedee told the court. Comments from Saye-

dee’s lawyers were not immediately available, but he had previously denied the allegations and said the charges were politically motivated. The vedict triggered a fresh round of violence across the country, and Reuters news agency reported that at least 15 people were killed in protests by Sayedee’s supporters. Another 200 people were wounded as his supporters clashed with police in more than a dozen districts across the country. But thousands of people in the capital, Dhaka’s Shahbag square, who support the tribunal and have been protesting for weeks to demand the “highest penalty” for war criminals, burst into cheers as the verdict was announced. Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party, has denounced the trial and called for a day-long countrywide strike in anticipation of

the verdict against Sayedee. Earlier this month, the war tribunal sentenced Abdul Quader Molla, Jamaat’s assistant secretary general, to life imprisonment, leading to deadly protests by Islamists that left 16 people dead. The verdict also enraged secular protesters, tens of thousands of whom have since poured onto a central Dhaka intersection to reject the “lighter sentence” and demand the execution of Jamaat leaders. Last month, another Jamaat leader Maolana Abul Kalam Azad was sentenced to death in absentia. Seven other top leaders of Jamaat are on trial for their alleged role in the atrocities during the war. Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, was tense ahead of the verdict. About 10,000 policemen were on patrol and the government also deployed

border guards as reinforcement to prevent violence. Schools and shops were shut and roads in Dhaka and intercity motorways were empty. The tribunal, a domestic body with no international oversight, has been tainted by controversies and allegations it is targeting only the opposition. But the scale of recent secular protests show a large section of Bangladeshis support moves to punish those linked to atrocities during 1971. Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister, set up the tribunal in 2010 to investigate abuses during the independence war that claimed about 3 million lives and, according to the government, during which thousands of women were raped. The tribunal has been criticised by rights groups for failing to adhere to international standards of due process.

Former RBS director appointed as chief executive of Grameen in the UK


former regional director of Royal Bank of Scotland has been appointed to oversee the introduction of the Grameen micro-lending system to the UK. Kevin Cadman was chosen as chief executive by the Gra-

meen Scotland Foundation. The original Grameen bank was founded in Bangladesh in the 1970s by Nobel Prize winner Prof Muhammad Yunus. Grameen aims to alleviate economic, health and social inequalities in some of Scot-

land’s poorest communities. An initial pilot scheme will serve Glasgow, North Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde. Mr Cadman has more than 30 years of experience in the banking sector in Scotland.

He was RBS regional director for central Scotland before leaving the bank in July 2012. Mr Cadman said: “I am delighted to join the Grameen Scotland Foundation at this very exciting moment in its history.”

Kevin Cadman

Syrian rebels battling troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad overran al-Raqqa after days of fierce fighting, and were now in “neartotal control” of the northern city, activists said. The fall of Raqqa, located on the Euphrates River, on Monday is a significant development in the two-year-old revolt against Assad. The rebels do not claim to hold any other provincial capitals.

Egyptian protests intensify

Egyptian protesters set fire to two government buildings in the northern city of Port Said, state television reported. Protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at police officers who responded by firing teargas on Monday, a day after five people, including two policemen, were killed during demonstrations in the Suez Canal city.

Deadly plane crash in Congo

A plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Goma has killed dozens of passengers, according to Congolese officials. At least three survivors were taken to hospital, police sources said on Monday, although the exact number of passengers on board was still unclear.

Chad kills ‘al-Qaeda’ leader

Chadian soldiers in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the al-Qaeda commander behind a bloody mass hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant earlier this year, Chad’s military has said. The Chadian army said Belmokhtar was killed during an operation in the Ifogha mountains on Saturday.


7 March 2013

News This Week Carlos Slim world’s richest

There are a record 1,426 billionaires spread around the globe, according to the latest count from Forbes, as rising stock prices helped bring 210 new members into the exclusive 10-figure club. The Forbes rankings published Monday showed Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim on top of the list for the fourth year in a row. His estimated $73 billion fortune, up from $69 billion a year ago, edged out Microsoft founder Bill Gates, once again No. 2 on the list with a $67 billion fortune.

US ‘not bluffing on Iran’

Vice President Joe Biden re-emphasised on Monday the United States’ commitment to Israel and forcefully admonished any attempts by Iran to develop nuclear weapons. “Big nations can’t bluff. And presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff and President Barack Obama is not bluffing,” Biden said at a gathering in Washington for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

48 Syrians killed in Iraq

Some 48 Syrians, most of them soldiers, and nine Iraqi soldiers were killed Monday in an attack near the western Iraqi town of Ar Rutbah, an official said, raising concerns that Syria’s civil war could spill over into Iraq. The Syrian soldiers’ convoy was ambushed by gunmen using roadside bombs and machine guns. “From the beginning, we have warned that some militant groups want to move the conflict in Syria to Iraq,” said Ali al-Mussawi, adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Xi Jinping new China leader

Chinese leader Xi Jinping will formally assume the title of state president this week, as Beijing hosts a high-profile meeting of the country’s legislature that will complete China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition. During the National People’s Congress (NPC), which opened on Tuesday, Xi, who took the top job in the Chinese Communist Party in November, will succeed the outgoing Hu Jintao. Li Keqiang will become premier, replacing Wen Jiabao.

New education plan to help stamp out caste discrimination A

new education project which will work with local communities to tackle caste prejudice and discrimination has been unveiled by the Government. The initiative follows work within Government to identify the most appropriate and effective way of tackling caste-related problems. The Government Equalities Office and the Department for Communities for Local Government have appointed Talk For A Change to work with all interested organisations to find practical solutions to the problems that caste-based prejudice can cause. The programme will generate educational material for employers, schools, colleges and community groups to raise awareness of, and help tackle, the problem. Talk For A Change has extensive experience of working with local groups to address tough issues, helping to build positive relationships and resilient communities. Minister for Women and Equalities Helen Grant said: “Absolutely no-one should suffer prejudice because of caste. That is why I am very pleased to announce that we have appointed Talk For A

The caste system is thousands of years old and is still in widespread use in India and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh Change to engage with Hindu and Sikh communities, and to run an educational pro-

gramme to help tackle this problem. They have extensive experience of work-

‘Absolutely no-one should suffer prejudice because of caste’ Minister for Women and Equalities Helen Grant

ing with local communities to tackle difficult issues.” After careful consideration, the Government has decided against introducing new legislation to make discrimination and harassment because of caste unlawful, on the basis that it is not the most appropriate or effective way to tackle this complex and sensitive issue. It will not, there-

fore, exercise the caste power contained with the Equality Act 2010 at the present time. The Government has also asked the Equality and Human Rights Commission to examine the nature of caste prejudice and harassment, and consider what other action might be helpful. The Commission will publish its findings later in 2013.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman opens youth centre in Poplar Y oung people in Tower Hamlets have a new place to take part in activities and events after a new youth centre was opened in the borough. Phoenix Heights, a purpose built youth facility, on the Isle of Dogs was officially launched by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman with a day of activities for teenagers. Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “As Mayor I am committed to supporting our young people to access vital services. The council is working collaboratively with its partners to invest in services for residents.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman This is an excellent example of a successful partnership which will benefit the community. Youth centres play a vital role in ensuring teenagers have a safe place to socialise and ac-

cess to positive activities.” The new facility will offer structured learning programmes, support and guidance, fun activities and residential trips to

young people to enhance their social development. Other services available include mentoring, employment and training opportunities and one to one support. Open four nights a week, Phoenix Heights will be a hub for young people providing a safe and secure environment for teenagers aged 13-19 and up to 25 for those with special educational needs. Cllr. Oliur Rahman, Cabinet Member for Children’s Schools and Families said: “Our Youth Service provision is continually evolving to meet the needs of our young people. Youth clubs have a unique

role and one that should be valued and supported as they can make a big difference to the lives of young people. “While other council’s up and down the country are closing frontline services, I’m proud that this Administration is opening new ones.” The council has more than 40 youth provisions in the borough which provide valuable services and opportunities for teenagers throughout the year. The youth centres help to reduce youth crime as well as the number of young people not in education, at work or in training.


7 March 2013

News Halal Food Authority tries to reassure meat shoppers Statement by the Halal Food Authority


alal Food Authority wants to reassure the Muslim community that no actual contaminated halal meals were served to Muslim inmates, and the alleged contaminated meals were never destined for the general Muslim consumers. HFA takes mixing or contamination of halal with nonhalal products very seriously. HFA also undertakes that all the ingredients contained in the products in question were free from any doubtful substances, porcine materials, and/or alcohol. The only likely cause for the Pork DNA to be introduced in those products seems to be cross contamination. Halal Food Authority delicensed McColgan’s Quality Foods Ltd in the interest of the Muslim consumers as soon as we were made aware of the alleged presence of Pork DNA, through the media, while further investigations were being carried out, as listed in our press release [13th Feb 2013]. In the wake of the Pork DNA and horse meat scandals the HFA has brought in extra mandatory controls and implemented more stringent checks & balances to our existing halal certification criteria. It has been brought to our attention, through general pub-


Malaysia faces Sabah assault

Malaysian soldiers have launched an assault on armed members of a Filipino clan who have killed eight policemen on the island of Borneo in recent days. The operation to take over an area occupied by about 180 Filipinos began on Monday, a Malaysian government spokesman said. Seven army battalions deployed to Sabah state on Monday to reinforce police.

Jaguar to invest more in UK Jaguar Land Rover has said it is going to invest over £150m more in its new engine plant in the West Midlands, taking the total to more than £500m. The company hopes to raise the overall number of jobs at the facility at the i54 business park on the StaffordshireWolverhampton border to about 1,400.

‘Batman’ brings in criminal

HFA takes mixing or contamination of halal with non-halal products very seriously lic, who have raised serious concerns over the ill-informed and ill-placed press releases from some inconspicuous establishments and certain misleading individuals who have been spreading aversive and inaccurate information with regards to the criteria of Halal Food Authority for verification of halal foods. We are very sad that the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has issued a statement

which falls below the professional standard expected of them. MCB is an umbrella body which should have played a completely unbiased and binding role to bring the various halal certification

standards and criteria together that prevail in the UK today. We hope that in the future MCB will utilise its role in promoting the halal brand and criteria rather than careering to one side. Should they have any

‘We condemn any aversive and misleading propaganda against the standards of Halal Food Authority’

conclusive information about the DNA results that HFA are not aware of at the moment, they should share this information with us and the general public immediately, to support their decision in the statement. We condemn any aversive and misleading propaganda against the standards of Halal Food Authority, which is based on fallacy and inconclusive statements and media reports.

Mayor warns against Tory collusion utgoing Tower Hamlets Labour Group leader, Joshua Peck, is today threatening to de-rail Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s budget, threatening jobs and services in the borough. His principal target is the financially self-supporting East End Life (EEL) newspaper, threatening nine full time jobs and depriving 83,000 regular readers of their weekly newspaper. Joining with the Tories, Councillor Peck also wants to cut the Mayor’s support staff budget by half, despite the massive rise in casework caused by the Con-

This Week

servative Government’s assault on the poorest people and the most deprived areas of the country, including Tower Hamlets. However, a series of basic errors in their proposal mean that the financial management reforms – a key plank of their strategy- can’t even be tabled at today’s meeting and that cutting East End Life could actually increase costs to residents. Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “It is about time Councillor Peck decided which side he is on. Is he Labour, or is he simply a Tory in disguise? Just this week, Tower

Hamlets joined with ten London Labour Councils across and signed a joint publishing deal for our council-run newspaper because it is the cheapest way to fulfil our legal duties in providing residents with information. Three years ago, Councillor Peck defended EEL to the hilt. Then it made heavy losses. Since I became Mayor, we have reduced costs by £500,000, and EEL is now totally self-supporting. To close it could actually raise costs by £2.1 million, as the council would be obliged to fulfil its legal obligations in different ways.”

A man dressed as the caped crusader Batman has handed over a wanted man at a Bradford police station before disappearing into the night. Police said the costumed crime-fighter marched the 27-year-old man into Trafalgar House Police Station, in the early hours of 25 February.

MPs vote for secret courts

MPs have voted to back plans to allow more civil courts to examine secret intelligence in private, despite calls for more safeguards. MPs from all sides had tried to press for so-called secret courts to be used only as a last resort. But the government successfully saw off the challenge. Cabinet minister Ken Clarke said it was “common sense” for sensitive evidence to be admissible in trials without intelligence sources being exposed

Queen leaves hospital

George Galloway MP speaks out in favour of mosque

George Galloway MP spoke at a rally in support of a mosque project in Newham, which is opposed by the local council. Mr Galloway said: “If this big masjid is built it will simply be used for prayer and Council Mayor Robin Wales has nothing to be afraid of the prayer for the Almighty.” The meeting was also attended by Mufti Shah Sadaruddin, neo-Muslim journalist Yvonne Ridley, Shaykh Suleiman Gani of Islam Channel, chairman of Carpenters Against Regeneration Plan Osita Madhu and Maulana Minar Ali, a cleric of a local masjid.

The Queen has left hospital in central London after being assessed for gastroenteritis symptoms. She had been at London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital since Sunday – her first hospital stay in 10 years. All official engagements for this week, including a visit to Rome, were either cancelled or postponed. She also missed St David’s Day celebrations in Swansea.


7 March 2013

Features Rushanara Ali MP expresses concern over violence in Bangladesh


he UK Shadow Minister for International Development Rushanara Ali MP has expressed “serious concerns” over the ongoing violence in Bangladesh. Ms Ali is the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets – an area believed to have the highest concentration of Bangladeshis outside of Bangladesh itself. Moreover, Ms Ali, herself, is of Bangladeshi origin. Ms Ali said: “The current situation in Bangladesh has raised serious concerns among the British Bangladeshi community and in the wider international community. I am shocked and saddened that this upheaval has already cost many people’s lives in recent weeks in clashes, riots, rallies and protests. “There are also real concerns about human rights violations and reports of police brutality. The number of dead and injured across Bangladesh is increasing at an alarming rate and the uncertainty of the current situation continues to put people’s lives and livelihoods at risk. “I have already made representation to the UK Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon William Hague MP requesting the British Government take urgent action and apply its influence on the Government and opposition leaders of Bangladesh to bring an end to the violence which risks destabilising the country. “I appeal for calm from the British Bangladeshi community who are rightly very concerned about developments in Bangladesh. We need to focus our efforts on working towards peace and stability in Bangladesh in these difficult times.”

Rushanara Ali MP

Eleven people were shot dead in the northern district of Bogra and one policeman was killed in clashes with protesters in the western district of Jhenidah

Bloodshed in Bangladesh At least 23 people killed during strike called in protest over death sentence given to Jamaat-e-Islami party leader Dilwar Hussein Sayedee


t least 23 people have been killed in fresh clashes across Bangladesh at the start of a nationwide strike called over a death sentence given to an Islamist party leader for war crimes in the Muslim-majority nation. Delwar Hossain Sayedee, of Jamaat-e-Islami, was found guilty on Thursday of murder, religious persecution and rape during the 1971 independence war, triggering violent clashes between Jamaat supporters and police across the country. Security forces were deployed in the northern district of Bogra, as local media reported Jamaat activists attacking police outposts early on Sunday. Eleven people were shot dead in the northern district of Bogra and one policeman was killed in clashes with protesters in the western district of Jhenidah, police officials said, adding two people were killed late on Saturday. More than 10,000 stick-wielding protesters attacked five police stations in Bogra, forcing police to open fire, they said. The Jamaat-e-Islami, country’s largest Islamic party, has enforced a nationwide two-day strike, that begins on Sunday, to protest against the verdict and killing of its activists in police “brutalities”. A police chief told AFP news agency that at least four people had died in the town of Shahjahanpur. “The toll could rise,” Shahjahanpur district’s deputy police chief Moqbul Ahmed said, adding that troops had been deployed to boost security. Our correspondent in Bangladesh, who we are not naming for security purposes, says there has been no let up in the violence since the verdict was issued. “Troops are on the streets in Bogra – after police stations

‘Troops are on the streets in Bogra – after police stations came under attack – and it is the only district in Bangladesh where the army has been deployed, because they are very concerned about what’s happened’

came under attack – and it is the only district in Bangladesh where the army has been deployed, because they are very concerned about what’s happened in the last 24 hours.” “Section 144 of the penal code has now been imposed, which means that gatherings of four or more people are banned,” our correspondent added. Two other people were also killed on Saturday night, including a ruling party student activist who was allegedly hacked to death by suspected Jamaat supporters, police said. An inter-city train was torched late on Saturday in the northwest, but there were no casualties, police said. The death toll in the clashes over the war crimes verdicts has risen to 78 since January 21, including 62 killed in the past four days after Jamaat’s vice president was sentenced to death, police said. Delwar Hossain Sayedee was found guilty on Thursday of murder, religious persecution and rape during the 1971 independence war, triggering violent clashes between Jamaat supporters and police across the country. The 73-year-old leader was the third person to be convicted by the war crimes tribunal, whose verdicts have been met with outrage from supporters. Jamaat says the tribunal process is politically motivated, something the Bangladesh government denies. India’s President Pranab Mukherjee is on a three-day state visit to Bangladesh. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told local media Mukherjee’s visit “is not designed to engage in political negotiations”. The war crimes trials of a dozen Jamaat and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders have opened old wounds and divided the nation, with the opposition parties accusing the government of staging a witch-hunt. The government, which says the war claimed three million lives, rejects the claims and accuses Jamaat leaders for much of the carnage during the 1971 independence war. Jamaat-e-Islami backed Pakistan during the independence war but denies their supporters were involved in atrocities. Independent estimates put the death toll from the war in which Bangladesh won its independence from Pakistan at a much lower figure of 300,000 to 500,000.


7 March 2013

Features Delwar Hossain Sayedee


10 January 2013

The World News Headlines This Week

Gang rape case: five in court

Walmart, the world’s largest retail company, has been found to have had ties to a garment factory in Bangladesh where 112 workers were trapped and killed in a fire in late November 2012. The company, which buys $1 billion in garments from Bangladesh each year, initially tried to deny any connection

Mayor fires off angry letter over Banglatown


ayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman has published a letter clamming planned changes to the borough’s electoral wards following the conclusion of a public consultation. In the strongly-worded letter, Mr Rahman called on the Local Government Boundary Commission to scrap its plans to re-name wards after the tumultuous consultation period came to an end on Monday. Mr Rahman’s detailed his response to the plans, writing that he objected in the “strongest possible terms” to the pro-

posals to scrap ‘Banglatown’, the removal of ‘St Dunstan’s’ from the Stepney Wards, and the re-naming of East India and Lansbury as Poplar North. Referring to the move to drop the name ‘Banglatown’ from the Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, he wrote: “I struggle to comprehend why any individual or political entity would regard dispensing with this name as desirable, aside from as a very cynical blast on the proverbial dog whistle, aimed at attracting support from people who resent the Bangladeshi com-

‘Renaming the (Banglatown) ward as merely ‘Spitalfields’ would be a hugely reactionary, retrograde and provocative step’

Mayor Lutfur Rahman

munity’s presence in t he area. “Accordingly, renaming the ward as merely ‘Spitalfields’ would be a hugely reactionary, retro-

grade and provocative step”. The Commission is due to publish its final recommendations in Spring this year. Its draft proposals had also attracted criticism for removing the names of former Labour Party leader George Lansbury and former Bishop of London St Dunstan from

ward names in the borough. Mr Rahman concluded: “I hope that you will consider my submission, as well as the views of hundreds of local residents expressed in related petitions, extremely carefully when arriving at a final decision.”

Five sentenced to death for murder in Dhaka of Saudi diplomat


special tribunal sentenced to death five Bangladeshi men for killing a Saudi diplomat in an apparent street crime earlier this year. Initial speculation about the shooting had focused on Iran, which denied the accusations. The suspects told investigators they were trying to rob the diplomat and shot him accidentally. Khalaf bin Mohammed Salem al-Ali, a 45-year-old official in the Saudi Embassy’s consu-

lar section, was killed near his home in Dhaka in March. Tribunal Judge Mohammad Motahar Hossain handed down the verdict Sunday, chief prosecutor Rafiqul Islam said. One of the men was tried in his absence, Islam said. He said the men can appeal the verdict. Iran has been accused of other international attacks or attempted attacks against diplomats, including Saudis. Days after the shooting, Saudi Arabia sent investigators to assist

Khalaf bin Mohammed Salem al-Ali was killed near his home in Dhaka Bangladeshi detectives. The defendants pleaded not guilty at the trial. After their arrest in July, the four men told investigators they tried to rob the

diplomat as he was going for a walk on the deserted street and shot him accidentally during a scuffle. Police said the men were ar-

rested after a revolver and a car used in the killing were found in their possession. Muslim-majority Bangladesh enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, which is a top destination for Bangladeshi migrant workers. Relations between the countries were tested in October last year, when Saudi Arabia beheaded eight Bangladeshi workers who were found guilty of robbing and killing an Egyptian.

Five men accused of raping and murdering an Indian student were read the charges in a nearempty courtroom on Monday after the judge cleared out lawyers for bickering over whether the men deserved a defence. The 23-year-old physiotherapy student died two weeks after being gang-raped and beaten on a moving bus in New Delhi, then thrown bleeding onto the street. Protests followed, along with a fierce public debate over police failure to stem rampant violence against women. With popular anger simmering against the five men and a teenager accused in the case, most lawyers in the district where the trial will be held refuse to represent them.

British soldier shot dead

A British soldier serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has been shot dead by a man in an Afghan army uniform, according to the US-led military coalition. In a statement released on Tuesday, ISAF said that the incident, which took place in southern Afghanistan on Monday, was “under investigation”. “The British soldier was killed when a suspected Afghan soldier opened fire first at Afghan troops and then at British soldiers,” said Major Martyn Crighton, an ISAF spokesman. “In the subsequent engagement, the attacker was killed by British troops.”

Many killed in drone attack

At least eight people have been killed in two suspected US drone attacks in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas, security officials say.Both attacks took place in the Mir Ali area of the North Waziristan tribal district in the early hours of Tuesday. In Khiderkhel, eight missiles were fired at a compound, killing at least four people, security sources told Al Jazeera. In Essakhel, meanwhile, two missiles were fired, killing at least three people.

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Messi named world’s best

Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi has been named world footballer of the year for the fourth time in a row, marking another unprecedented achievement. He pipped Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo to the title. No other male footballer has been named the best on the planet in four separate years, let alone four in succession.

Israel launches ‘racist’ bus service


Despite being one of the most famous Bangladeshis and enjoying worldwide popularity for the past 30 years, Delwar Hossein Sayedee was not well known outside the Bangladeshi community. He has been celebrated for many years as a public speaker on Islamic matters and was among a very small group of religious leaders who could attracts crowds of many hundreds of thousands to their speeches. Until recently, Wikipedia did not have any mention of him, but has now published a page of information (reproduced here) about Sayedee, whose treatment has to many Muslims become the latest sign of anti-Islamic bloodlust masquerading as justice

elwar Hossain Sayeedi (Bengali; born 1 February 1940), is a Bangladeshi Islamist politician, orator and convicted Bangladesh liberation war criminal. He is the Nayeb-e-Ameer or the Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami and was a member of the National Assembly of Bangladesh from 1996 to 2008. He was indicted on 20 counts of crimes against humanity by the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal on 4 October 2011 under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973. He stood accused of murder, arson, looting, rape, and forcefully converting people to Islam during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. On 28 February 2013 he was convicted on 8 charges, including murder, genocide, looting and arson. Sayeedi has been sentenced to death for two of the charges. Sayeedi was also included in the No Fly List maintained by United States government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) in 2004. He has sympathy for Taliban and spread heat speech against UK-Uk combined attack on Afganistan.

D Early life

elwar Sayeedi was born 1 February 1940, in a village located in Indurkani, Pirojpur (Barisal Division). His father, Yusuf Sayedee, was an Islamic orator. He was known as “Delwar Shikder” among the local people after he was born. He received his first primary religious education at his local village madrassa which was built by his father. He attended the Sarsina Alia Madrasah in 1962, and then the Khulna Alia Madrasah. Sayeedi started a business in local village market after completing his religious studies. In early 80’s he started arranging “waj mahfil” and delivering speech about Islam among the general people in different parts of the country. As he was a good orator his fame swore quickly throughout the country. Then he focused on politics. He was elected as the member of parliament in 1996 and 2001 national election of Bangladesh.[citation needed] Sayeedi is fluent in Urdu, Bengali, Arabic, and Punjabi and has basic knowledge of English. From many sources it has proven that he helped the Pakistani military actively in Pirojpur during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh. Though according to his son Masud Sayeedi, He was not in Pirojpur at that time & lived in a house in Jessore since 1969.


Foreign travel controversy n July 2006 Sayeedi travelled to the UK to address rallies in London and Luton after the foreign office cleared his entry. His entry was controversial with British MP’s. In leaked emails reported by The Times, an adviser, Eric Taylor said that Sayeedi’s “previous visits to the UK have been reportedly marred by violence caused by his supporters.” On 13 July 2006, a British journalist Martin Bright created a documentary called Who Speaks For Muslims? where it features Sayeedi, claiming to have extreme views. Sayeedi has a large following within the British Bangladeshi community, he was invited to speak at the East London Mosque on 14 July 2006, the then secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari supported his invite. On 24 July 2009, Sayeedi was prevented from going abroad by the immigration officials at Zia International Airport. Later, he Challenged the Government’s restriction on his foreign travel by filing a writ petition with the High Court on 27 July. The Attorney General stated before the Chamber Judge that Maulana Sayeedi was against the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 and argued that if Sayeedi is not barred to go abroad he might conduct propaganda against government moves to sue war criminals. Sayeedi was also included in the No Fly List maintained by United States government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) in 2004.


Allegations of war crimes nternational war crimes tribunal had declared the verdicts for Sayeedi on the charges of killing people, arson, rape, looting and forcibly converting Hindus to Islam, as a collaborator of the Pakistan army during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. The tribunal charged him with twenty counts of crimes against humanity.


Charge-sheets n 12 August 2009 a person named Manik Poshari filed a war crime case in Pirojpur against Sayeedi and four others. A further case was filed with Pirojpur senior judicial magistrate’s court against Sayeedi by a freedom fighter Mahbubul Alam Howladar, member and deputy commander of freedom fighters association called Zianagor upazila Muktijoddha Sangsad in Zianagar. The war crime trials on Sayeedi began on 20 November 2011 at the International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh). The tribunal charged him with twenty counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and arson, during the liberation war. Some of the charges are (a) passing secret information of the gathering of a group of people behind the Madhya Masimpur bus-stand to Pakistan army and taking the army to the spot where 20 unnamed people was killed by firing, (b) abducting and killing of government officials (deputy magistrate – Saif Mizanur Rahman, sub-divisional police officer – Foyezur Rahman Ahmed and sub-divisional officer – Abdur Razzak) of Pirojpur, (c) identifying and looting the houses and shops of people belonging to the Awami League, Hindu community, and supporters of the Liberation War at Parerhat Bazar under Pirojpur Sadar (d) leading the operation accompanied by Pakistan army to burn 25 houses of Hindu community at Umedpur village under Indurkani Police Station (e) leading the the group who abducted three women from the house of Gouranga Saha of Parerhat Bandar under Pirojpur Sadar and handed them over to the Pakistan army for raping. The fourth witness of the trial – Sultan Ahmed Howlader mentioned that, during the liberation war, Sayeedi and his associate Moshleuddin confined Bipod Shaha’s daughter Vanu Shaha at Parerhat under Pirojpur district and regularly raped her. Apart from these charges, Sayeedi was accused by one of the witnesses of organising the Razakar force, a paramilitary force that aided the Pakistan army, at Pirozpur. Death sentence was awarded to Sayeedi on 28 February 2013.


Conviction nternational war crimes tribunal had announced death sentence for Sayeedi on 28 February 2013 for crimes against humanity done by him in 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. The tribunal found him guilty in 8 of the 20 charges brought against him including mass killing, rape, arson, looting and forcing minority Hindus to convert to Islam during 1971. In two of the eight charges the tribunal awarded him death sentence. The defendant’s lawyers boycotted the trial and have said that the charges against Sayeedi and others were politically motivated.


Reactions ayeedi’s lawyer, Abdur Razzaq, accused authorities of preventing a key witness to testify and intentionally biasing the process. Sayeedi himself told that the verdict was not neutral. Jamaat-e-Islami followers were enraged by the decision, claiming the case against Sayeedi was politically motivated. The party quickly called for a nationwide two-day strike to start 3 March, 2013. By afternoon of day of the announcement, violence had erupted across Bangladesh between Jamaat activists & Police forces. By the end of March 3, 2013 almost 80 people were dead, including many police officers. A further 2000 people were injured countrywide. According the BBC, it marked “The worst day of political violence in Bangladesh in decades”.


srael has launched two Palestinians-only bus lines in the occupied West Bank, a step an Israeli rights group described as racist and which the Transport Ministry called an improvement in service. The left-wing Haaretz daily reported that the ministry opened the lines on Monday, to be used by Palestinian labourers travelling between the West Bank and Israel, after Jewish settlers complained that Palestinians on mixed buses were a security risk. “Creating separate bus lines for Israeli Jews and Palestinians is a revolting plan,” Jessica Montell, director of the B’Tselem rights group, said on Army Radio. “This is simply racism. Such a plan cannot be justified with claims of security needs or overcrowding.” The Transport Ministry said the two new lines would “improve public transport services for Palestinian workers entering Israel” and replace pirate buses charging them “exorbitant prices”. “The Ministry of Transport has not issued any instruction or prohibition that prevents Palestinian workers from travelling on public transport in Israel nor in Judea and Samaria,” it said, referring to the West Bank. “Furthermore, the Ministry of Transport is not authorised to prevent any passenger from using public transport services.” Rights groups, however, voiced concern that Israeli police at checkpoints in the West Bank would remove Palestinian passengers from regular bus lines and order them to use the new ones. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said all Palestinians returning to the West Bank would be searched for stolen property, describing this as a routine Israeli precaution. He said he did not know whether and how this might affect Palestinian travel on regular buses. Herzl Ben-Zvi, mayor of the Karnei Shomron settlement, said the new lines “answer the needs of all passengers; Palestinians and settlers” because they would relieve overcrowding on buses in the area.


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