London: One of Britain’s top Muslim activists will face war crime charges for involvement in the abduction and murder of ‘intellectuals’ during Bangladesh’s struggle for independence in the 1970s.
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, the director of Muslim spiritual care provision in the NHS and a trustee of the charity Muslim Aid, has denied any involvement in the crimes he has been allegedly linked with, but faces the death penalty if convicted.
Mueen-Uddin was a member of Jamaat-e-Islami, a fundamentalist party that supported Pakistan during Bangladesh’s fight for independence.
As Pakistan was losing the war, a number of prominent Bangladeshi citizens were rounded up and killed by a militia, a bid to deprive the new state of its intellectual elite.
The chief investigator for Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal, Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, claims to have evidence Mureen-Uddin was involved in the militia.
“There is prima facie evidence of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin being involved in a series of killings of intellectuals,” The Telegraph quoted Hannan Khan, as saying.
“We have made substantial progress in the case against him. There is no chance that he will not be indicted and prosecuted. We expect charges in June,” he added.
According to the paper, a widow of a victim of the war crime, Dolly Chaudhury, claims to have identified Mueen-Uddin as one of three men who abducted her husband, a prominent scholar of Bengali literature, on the night of 14 December 1971.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Law and Justice Minister Shafique Ahmed has said that ‘Mueen-Uddin was an instrument of killing intellectuals, and he will be charged, for sure`.