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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

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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.” eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk

Five sentenced to death for murder in Dhaka of Saudi diplomat

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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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