Lets be crystal clear. There is nothing to justify the kind of violence unleashed by the Jamaat following the sentence against Sayedee. Even though he got a death sentence, and even though it is their view that the trial was a total manipulation (more about that later), it is simply not justifiable to unleash the kind of terror that they have done, including in particular the murder of the police. There should be no ‘Buts’. Noone in Bangladesh should think otherwise. So please don’t accuse me of being soft on Jamaat violence! There are however two further things that need to be said about the violence and the tribunal. First, the police response – which in fact which resulted in far more deaths than than the number caused by the protesters – also should be subject to serious concern. Why did the police use live ammunition? Why not more tear gas, or other methods to control the violence rather than shooting to kill? The second point is the trial itself. The unfairness of the trial. There is much that needs to be said about this trial – and I do hope to write about it at greater length – but in summary anyone following it, observing it as a neutral party, would be aware that there were aspects of this trial which suggested a high level of manipulation and unfairness. People now have forgotten the hacked Skype/email – but they showed the most blatant collusion between the judge and the prosecutors, along with the prosecution advisors who were also handily advising the tribunal judges as well!. Tribunal documents were being drafted by the prosecution advisors – some were sent to prosecutors – and then they were handed down by the tribunal as orders. No other half decent court would have allowed this trial to have continued after this was exposed. There would have been a retrial. Then there was blatant lying by the prosecutor and investigators to the Tribunal about not being able to bring particular witnesses to court (even though there was rock solid proof that they had been in Dhaka and had decided not to give evidence) as a way of getting these witnesses’ written statements admitted. And then the cover up – which is always worse than the original crime – the investigators lied to the tribunal that a copy of the register of the safe custody house (which Amar Desh had managed to get their hands on) was in fact the register (when this was blatantly obvious to anyone), and apparently the investigation agency then procured the staff of the safe house to lie, presumably under oath, to the tribunal that their signatures in the register were not their signatures. And then of course there was the alleged abduction by law enforcement agencies of one of the defense witness, Sukhranjan Bali from outside the tribunal gates. It remains ‘alleged’ since there is no certain evidence that that he was abducted, but all the evidence strongly points in that direction. There is also much more about decisions of this tribunal – that cut to the very core of fairness. All of these points, almost noone outside of the Jamaat have been interested in; the shahbag-ites (if I can generalize for a moment) have never showed any interest in due process issues – either before or after 5 November. But part of the reason we are right where we are now is exactly because there was such inattention to basic issues of fairness – and the whole of the political establishment in Bangladesh were just focused on getting convictions (and subsequently hangings). Basic issues of fairness ARE and SHOULD be part of the discussion here – and not ignored… again.