Two more members of Bangladesh’s Jamaat -e-Islami party have been convicted of war crimes relating to the country’s secession from Pakistan in 1971.
That makes a total of seven – six of whom could be hanged, the other told that he escaped the noose because he was 90-years-old.
All but one of the ‘convicted’ members of Jamaat-e-Islami are accused of committing appalling crimes against intellectuals in Dhaka, alongside the Pakistan army.
Another – who was minister of social justice in the previous government – has been convicted of genocide and torture against Hindus.
More are to follow.
For their part the Islamic Party say they are being punished for siding with Pakistan. Independent observers say Jamaat-e-Islami are being gutted in an effort finish them as a political force in Bangladesh.
The War Crimes Tribunal set up by the daughter of the assassinated founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has been criticised for its lack of legitimacy by international observers.
Hasina’s rivals, the Bangladesh national Party, say the current government is trying to weaken the opposition by crushing one of it key allies in the run-up to forthcoming national elections.
Of course, this is much more.
By destroying the country’s leading Islamist party, Sheikh Hasina is signaling that her country’s future lies with India and the West, at a time when it may be in the country’s long-term interest to look at China and Pakistan.
She, like her father, Mujib Islam, sees no place for Islam in the political life of Bangladesh.
As well as this, she is of course also ignoring what happened once Bangladesh won its independence – the appalling actions of Indian-trained paramilitaries on members of Jamaat-e-Islami and anyone they accused of siding with Pakistan.
In this context, the War Crimes Tribunal can be seen for what it is – the latest act of revenge conducted by a nation that really hasn’t faced-up to what really happened in 1971, and after.
And until that happens people like Sheikh Hasina’s father will never get justice, for it wasn’t the Pakistan army or Jamaat-e-Islami who threw his bullet ridden unclothed body onto the street.
That crime was conducted by Bangladesh’s own army.
And they were not the only ones.