Bangladesh war crimes court indicts UK Muslim leader, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin


Bangladeshi Islamist activists vandalize shops during clashes with police in Bogra some 120kms north of Dhaka on March 3, 2013. Bangladesh deployed troops in the north of the country after 16 more people were killed in a fresh wave of violence over the conviction of Islamist leaders for war crimes in the Muslim-majority nation.



Bangladesh's war crimes court indicted Bangladesh-born UK Muslim leader Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin on Thursday for his alleged role in the murder of top intellectuals during the country's 1971 liberation war.

"The court has taken into cognizance the charges of war crimes against Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and issued a warrant to arrest him," International Crimes Tribunal registrar Nasiruddin Mahmud told Agence France-Presse.

State prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told AFP Mueen-Uddin "has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide. The charges include the killing of the country's top intellectuals during the 1971 war of liberation."

Twelve people have already been charged with war crimes by the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal and two people have been sentenced to death, including the vice president of the largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami. US citizen Ashrafuzzaman Khan was also indicted on the same charges.

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Mueen-Uddin was involved in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain and has held numerous senior positions in several Islamic organizations in the UK.

"Prosecutors of the Bangladesh war crimes tribunal believe he helped Pakistani forces organize targeted killings during the 1971 liberation war Bangladesh fought with Pakistan," said Al Jazeera's Nicolas Haque.

Bangladesh was known as East Pakistan until 1971. Its current government said up to three million people were killed in the war, many murdered by locals collaborating with Pakistani forces. The tribunal to try the collaborators was established in March 2010, but has been hit by a series of controversies.