“we were deprived of our right to a fair trial” – Kamaruzzaman’s son, Hasan Iqbal

hasan iqbal1

The following is a statement posted on social media by Hasan Iqbal, son of condemned leader of Jamaat-i-Islami Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, on Nov 9 2014 the day before the Supreme Court decision to uphold the death penalty of Kamaruzzaman. It has been reproduced here verbatim for the benefit of Progress Bangladesh readers.

By Hasan Iqbal

Dear Friends,
It appears that the fascist and illegitimate Awami League government is determined to kill my father, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, with the help of a crooked justice system. He was convicted on false charges by a Kangaroo Court and based on the information we are getting, the Supreme Court is going to uphold that decision. Our lawyers have asked us to prepare for the worst.

My father was 19 years old in 1971 and had no connection with the atrocities committed by the Pakistani Army. How a 19-year-old could have assumed leadership role of a large paramilitary force, as claimed by the delusional state prosecutors, is still a mystery. The prosecution has failed to produce any credible evidence or eyewitness to back up their ridiculous claims. Moreover, the alleged incidents took place more than 40 years ago and these baseless allegations were never heard of until a military-backed Awami League claimed victory in 2009 elections.

Apart from the ridiculous allegations, we as defendants were deprived of our right to a fair trial. The trial was mired with controversy and blatant violations of the principles of law and justice. We were not allowed to present some crucial evidences and eyewitnesses to defend ourselves properly, we were not allowed to question the investigation officer, and the judges regularly sabotaged the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses by the defence. The International community, legal experts/authorities, the United Nations, and human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have expressed their concerns regarding the Tribunal and criticised it for blatantly disregarding fair trial standards. There is no court in the world that is remotely concerned with delivering justice would be so blind, unfair, and politically biased.

The truth is that the Awami League fears the opposition political alliance of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami and they are desperate to break up the two natural allies. AL knows very well that if Jamaat is out of the equation, BNP will remain as ineffective as it is today in mobilising a mass uprising against the autocratic regime. That is why these trials are specially designed to eliminate the top Jamaat leadership.

This is a terrible time for me and my family and yet we feel very proud of our association with Jamaat. Irrespective of whatever happens tomorrow, I would like to thank all the leaders and activists of this party for their unconditional support all these years. Since 2010, more than 500 brave souls have given their lives to protect my father and other Jamaat leaders from the hands of the fascist AL. May Allah accept their sacrifice and martyrdom. I would also like to thank our legal defence teams in Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. Even an intern of these teams has done more to defend my father than I could have ever done as a son.

I end this note with a humble request to all my friends in Facebook and elsewhere to stand up against injustice and tyranny. Today, it’s my father and his colleagues who are being persecuted; tomorrow, it could be your loved ones. That’s why we need to unite our voices with solid action against all forms of oppression. To all those who have shown their support, thank you!