Mrs Sayeda Afifa Azam has encouraged the Bangladeshi government to publicly hang her husband Prof Gulam Azam, ex-leader of Jamaat-e-Islami who is in prison accused of war crimes, rather than extend the torturous drama of a farcical trial. Mrs Afifa Azam made this call in an open letter addressed to PM Shaikh Hasina on Saturday.
Mrs Azam asked the PM in her letter, “How much more drama are you going to stage? This is enough. Your soul does not seem to be yet satisfied despite losing our national honour and dignity to the whole world by staging this drama through a sham tribunal. Since you are going to hang him anyway, then stop this farce [court process] and go and hang him publicly on your own created Shahbag stage (where lies your heart, as you have previously said).”
The letter says, “Last week, one state minister said in a private TV interview that more verdicts of death penalty are coming. If you do not have the capacity to realise what would have been the consequence of such a [directive] foretelling by senior government figures about courts judgements in a civilised country, then I have only feelings of pity for you. If this was the first time that a senior government figure said something like this then this could be explained as a slip of tongue. However, during last four years, at least a dozen of your ministers and senior leaders have been talking of hanging him. ‘No need for a court trial, just hang him; if a few of them have been hung there would have not been such a fuss; death penalty verdict is coming within such a date; we will lift Gulam Azam to the gallows; more death penalties are coming’ – such comments were uttered by your ministers and leaders regularly.’”
Ms Azam added in her letter, “You have established the tribunal in order to eliminate the political opposition by amending a 1973 act in 2010. You coloured the tribunal according to your wishes [by appointing judges of your own choice from your political affiliation], appointed your party-loyal lawyers as prosecutors, and started staging this drama. One act of this drama ended with the Skype scandal. The whole world expected that such a discredited, biased and unacceptable tribunal would be suspended.”
“When one verdict of the tribunal was not what you have wanted, you took this drama to a new level by sponsoring a new campaign at Shahbag by some blasphemous bloggers and leftists. You sent your ministers and leaders to support this campaign and show solidarity with them. And then you called on the tribunal from the floor of the parliament, demanded to they take these campaigners into consideration and pass verdicts according to their demand for ‘hanging’. This means that, even the Prime Minister is ordering the tribunal to pass verdicts according to her whims, rather than based on proofs and evidence. Is such behaviour possible in a civilised democratic country? It is possible only by someone like you.”
Mrs Azam further commented, “You did not pay heed when the UN, many human rights organisations and legal associations from home and abroad, and world class experts raised questions about neutrality, transparency and acceptability of this tribunal from the beginning. Because you know very well that it would not be possible to remain in power indefinitely unless you can politically eliminate Jamaat-e-Islami. You should look at various parts of the world – nowhere was it possible to stop progress of an Islamic movement by imprisonments, false cases, attacks, killings and hangings. Neither will it be possible in Bangladesh. Islam is deeply rooted in this country.”
Mrs Azam informed the Prime Ministers “The decision about a life and death is taken in the heaven, not in this earth. Your aim is this world, so you have gained worldly power. This power has made you oblivious about the Hereafter and has made you do such injustice to this old, innocent and widely respected person with false cases. We firmly believe in the Hereafter and ask to Allah for recompense against all injustice.”
“Time will tell who is right and who is wrong. I can not tolerate your injustice/torture on my elderly innocent husband for any longer. Therefore, do let him enter paradise as soon as possible by hanging him publicly at Shahbag.”