The war crimes tribunal of Bangladesh has convicted the Editor of the mouthpiece of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami of contempt.
This is the first conviction of contempt by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICTB) which is trying those who collaborated with the Pakistan Army during the country's liberation war in 1971, many of whom belong to the Jamaat.
The tribunal also convicted a district correspondent of the Dainik Sangram along with the Editor and fined them Tk 5,000 each. Their prison terms, however, lasted just a few minutes since the order stated that the two journalists “suffer simple imprisonment till the rising of the court”. Both were given 15 days to pay the fine.
The Bengali daily had recently published a statement of a section of lawyers in the Feni district which the court found “highly contemptuous”. The statement called the tribunal a “partisan court” and demanded that it be dissolved and replaced. The lawyers were excused because the tribunal said they could not be directly linked with the statement and therefore were given the “benefit of doubt”. But Editor Abul Asad and its correspondent, A.K.M. Abdur Rahim, could not escape being party to contempt, the court said.