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Bangladesh: Thousands rally to put Islamists on death row

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching in Dhaka to call for the death penalty for Islamists on trial for war crimes.

20121203 bangladesh protestEnlarge
A few protesters, dressed in white, lay on the street as corpses in front of a sitting protester who represents the BGMEA, the garment industry's trade body. (Tazkira Sattar/GlobalPost)

In what some people are calling the "Tahrir of Dhaka," hundreds of thousands of people are rallying in the Bangladeshi capital to call for the death penalty against Islamist militants, BBC News reported.

Before it gained independence in 1971, Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan, and its residents were badly brutalized by Pakistani troops, the Associated Press reported. The troops killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women. 

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One Tuesday, Islamist cleric Abdul Kader Mullah was found guilty on five charges relating to the 1971 war. But he only got a life sentence--and protests started then because locals wanted the death penalty. Ten others are on trial.

"I did not see 1971, but those who killed our people and helped Pakistani troops in their effort to halt the creation of Bangladesh should be hanged," a college student protesting told the AP.

Bloggers and Online Activists' Network started the rallies by gathering in Dhaka's Shahbag square to demand capital punishment, ANI reported. The activists are a diverse mix of people, ANI said. 

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/bangladesh/130208/bangladesh-thousands-rally-put-islamists-death-