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Dhaka Tribune

Minister: Law to be amended to prosecute Jamaat-e-Islami

He said that this law will be taken up in the next session of the National Parliament

Update : 27 Oct 2022, 11:32 PM

Initiatives are being taken to amend the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act to try the Jamaat-e-Islami as an organization responsible for crimes against humanity in the 1971 War of Liberation.

Law Minister Anisul Huq said this while inaugurating a workshop organized at the Judicial Administration Training Institute (Jati) in Dhaka on Thursday.

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, on the other hand, told journalists at the Secretariat on Thursday that if the Jamaat applied for registration under a different name, it would come under the notice of the Election Commission (EC).

The law minister at the workshop said that the initiative to amend the law would be taken up at the next session of parliament.

On Wednesday, a new entity named Bangladesh Development Party, which reportedly includes individuals who were once in leadership positions in the banned Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, applied for registration as a political party in Bangladesh.

In October 2018, the Election Commission revoked the registration of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party which had opposed Bangladesh's independence during the Liberation War of 1971.

Meanwhile, Election Commissioner (EC) Md Alamgir said any party consisting of members of Jamaat-e-Islami  can get registration from the commission under a different name by fulfilling requirements. 

He said: “If no one of the Jamaat is a war criminal and if their constitution is not in contradiction with Bangladesh's constitution, then there is no bar to their getting registered under a different name by fulfilling conditions.”

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, on the issue, said any political party can apply to the EC to get registered and it is the EC which will decide whether any party will be given registration or not.

In 2013, the High Court declared the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami with the EC illegal, effectively banning it from taking part in general elections. In 2018, the EC formally deregistered the Islamic fundamentalist party as it had failed to fulfill its prerequisites.

However, the Jamaat is still operating as a legal political party despite calls from secular forces to ban it for its role in the genocide during and vehement opposition to the Liberation War. 

However, on Wednesday, Election Commissioner Md Alamgir said that the Bangladesh Jamaat-e Islami could get registered with the EC under a different name if it fulfilled all the conditions.

Alamgir said the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami had been revoked as its charter was not consistent with the Constitution and the spirit of the Liberation War.

Govt won't send Khaleda back to jail before election

Meanwhile, Law minister Anisul Huq said that the government will not send BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia back to jail before the next national election.

The government has no plan to change the decision of suspending Khaleda Zia's sentence under Section 401 of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC) with two conditions, Anisul added.

On September 19, the government extended the suspension of Khaleda's jail sentence for six more months.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government suspended Khaleda Zia's jail sentence for six months through an executive order on March 25, 2020.

The government extended her conditional release in two corruption cases several times.

The former prime minister was sent to Old Dhaka's Central Jail after she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.

She was convicted in a second corruption case later.

The 76-year-old BNP chief has been staying at her Gulshan residence since her release from jail. A special team of her personal physicians has been overseeing her treatment.

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