2017 April 02 : AsiaNet-Pakistan

Archive for April 2nd, 2017

Bangladesh High Court Upholds Death for 2 in Blogger Killing

April 2, 2017 |

DELHI, INDIA � Bangladesh’s High Court on Sunday confirmed the death penalty for two people tied to a banned Islamist militant group for the killing of an atheist blogger critical of radical Islam.

The court also upheld jail sentences for six others after appeals were filed challenging the verdicts handed down by a trial court in 2015.

Sunday’s decision involves the killing of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death in 2013. Haider had campaigned for banning the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.

One of the defendants was Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, the leader of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, and the rest were university students inspired by his sermons.

During the trial, the students said that Rahmani incited them to kill Haider in sermons in which he said all atheist bloggers should be killed to protect Islam.

The two North South University students who received the death sentences included Faisal bin Nayeem, who the court said hacked Haider with meat cleavers in front of his house in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. Another was tried in absentia. The others received prison sentences ranging from three years to life. Rahmani was sentenced to five years.

The defendants can appeal Sunday’s decision to the Supreme Court.

The High Court said there was no scope to reduce the sentences given the gravity of the crimes.

Prosecutors had earlier said the student who was sentenced to death in absentia and was accused of planning the attack is a member of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, but the party denied involvement in the killing.

Bangladesh in recent years has experienced a surge of attacks by radical Islamists targeting atheist bloggers and writers, foreigners and members of minority groups.

Source: Voice of America

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Bangladesh High Court Upholds Death for 2 in Blogger Killing

April 2, 2017 |

DELHI, INDIA � Bangladesh’s High Court on Sunday confirmed the death penalty for two people tied to a banned Islamist militant group for the killing of an atheist blogger critical of radical Islam.

The court also upheld jail sentences for six others after appeals were filed challenging the verdicts handed down by a trial court in 2015.

Sunday’s decision involves the killing of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death in 2013. Haider had campaigned for banning the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.

One of the defendants was Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, the leader of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, and the rest were university students inspired by his sermons.

During the trial, the students said that Rahmani incited them to kill Haider in sermons in which he said all atheist bloggers should be killed to protect Islam.

The two North South University students who received the death sentences included Faisal bin Nayeem, who the court said hacked Haider with meat cleavers in front of his house in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. Another was tried in absentia. The others received prison sentences ranging from three years to life. Rahmani was sentenced to five years.

The defendants can appeal Sunday’s decision to the Supreme Court.

The High Court said there was no scope to reduce the sentences given the gravity of the crimes.

Prosecutors had earlier said the student who was sentenced to death in absentia and was accused of planning the attack is a member of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, but the party denied involvement in the killing.

Bangladesh in recent years has experienced a surge of attacks by radical Islamists targeting atheist bloggers and writers, foreigners and members of minority groups.

Source: Voice of America

Read More

Over 200 Taliban militants join peace process in northern Afghanistan

April 2, 2017 |

Kabul (IINA) � More than 200 Taliban militants have joined the peace process in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported quoting the Afghan Khaama Press (KP).

According to the local government officials, the militants were previously conducting insurgency against the government and security forces in the vicinity of Alburz Mountains in favor of the Taliban group. The militants also handed over various weapons, ammunition and other military kits with them.

The provincial government media office said the militants joined peace process thanks to the efforts made by the government officials and security institutions in the province.

Balkh is among the relatively calm provinces in the north of Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have been attempting to destabilize the province. Numerous incidents have taken place in the province including some of its key cities during the recent months.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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