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Iran Press TV

Police, protesters clash in Bangladesh over controversial trials

Iran Press TV

Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:27PM GMT

Clashes have broken out between Bangladeshi police and protesters over controversial trials of opposition politicians.

On Tuesday, people took to the streets for the second consecutive day in the capital Dhaka to protest against controversial trials of opposition activists including leaders of the country’s Jamaat-e-Islami party.

Reports say several home-made bombs went off in the city. No injuries were immediately reported. Thousands of Bangladeshi security forces were reportedly positioned in the capital to maintain order.

On Monday, a similar protest took place in the city where protesters threw stones at security forces. In response, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the angry demonstrators.

Following the rally, police arrested at least 100 activists and some senior leaders including a leader of the country's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Reports say that authorities released Alamgir on Tuesday afternoon.

A spate of violent clashes erupted in Bangladesh soon after the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, to death for committing crimes during the country’s war of independence against Pakistan in 1971.

On March 2, police fired dozens of shots at supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who had gathered in Chittagong district, southeast of the capital, Dhaka, killing three of them.

On the same day, a young protester was also shot dead after security forces opened fire to disperse demonstrators in Nilphamari district, northwest of Dhaka.

Earlier this month, the tribunal sentenced Jamaat's assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Molla to life in prison.

The verdict enraged the party's supporters, who staged a number of protest rallies in central Dhaka.

The tribunal has been tainted by accusations and controversies that it targets only opposition figures with trumped-up charges, allegations that the government has denied.

Rights groups also say the court’s legal procedures fall short of international standards.

MAM/JR/SL



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