Over 600 arrested in Bangladesh Islamist crackdown

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Bangladeshi police arrested over 600 members of the country’s largest Islamist party on Tuesday, a day after protests demanding the release from jail of its top leaders erupted into violence. Three top Jamaat-e-Islami officials were among those held, said senior police officer Mahfuzur Rahman, after thousands of party activists went on the rampage in major cities across Bangladesh on Monday.
“We have arrested more than 600 people. They have been accused of vandalism, violence, torching vehicles, obstructing duty of police and breaking law and order,” Rahman told AFP.
Around 260 of the arrests were made in the capital, according to Dhaka police spokesman Masud Ahmed, where Jamaat activists fought street battles with baton-wielding riot police and set fire to dozens of vehicles. The party’s acting deputy head and official spokesman were among those arrested after the violence, Ahmed told AFP. The editor of a pro-Jamaat Bengali daily was also arrested by the country’s elite Rapid Action Battalion on charges of inciting violence and obstructing police, he added. At least 70 people – including some 50 police officers – were injured in the worst political violence in recent months, police said, adding that tear gas and rubber bullets had been used to break up the protests. Jamaat called the protests to demand the release of five senior party officials, who have been detained by a new tribunal set up to prosecute atrocities carried out during the country’s liberation struggle in 1971. Two officials from the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party have also been detained by the tribunal.
Both parties have denounced the tribunal as a show trial and say charges against their officials are politically motivated.

1 COMMENT

  1. I want to add a little more, please. Police have been granted a total of 19 days of remand for 183 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and activists including the party's acting secretary general A.T.M. Azharul Islam.

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