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A Letter From My Neighbor
Now, if this guy was involved in a coup that involved murder, I don't support that. But, what is clear is that he was sentenced to death in abstentia -- no due process. And I'm very much against that. Sending the guy back, without a trial, under Patriot Act provisions, means sending him straight to his death without a fair trial. Here are the details, from a letter my neighbor wrote to our congresswoman.

Rep. Jane Harman,

I am writing on behalf of a school friend, Rouben Mohiuddin, who’s
father, Mohiuddin A.K.M. Ahmed, (A# 75474811) is in danger of
deportation, and death. Ahmed was tried in abstentia, in Bangladesh for
taking part in a 1975 coup in which the country’s leader was killed. He
was found guilty and sentenced to death. Because he was not in the
country at the time of the trial, he is not allowed to appeal the case.

I am not sure whether Rouben’s father did something that deserves the
death penalty. I don’t even know him personally. However, as the
daughter of a defense attorney, I was incensed that the man will not
get a day in court to defend himself. If we, citizens of the United
States, allow him to be deported back to Bangladesh, he can be taken
straight to the gallows. Personally, I can’t stand still and not let my
voice be heard. This is not OK with me. Everyone, whether guilty or
innocent deserves a chance, a real chance, to defend himself or
herself, especially if their life hangs in the balance.

I know that right now standing up for people with names like Ahmed is
not popular politically. The case against Rouben’s father is not black
and white, it is a very complicated political web – a web, I might
point out that includes the United States. If we stand by and allow
this to happen, we are complicit in it. Ahmed must be allowed a fair
trial for the whole truth to come out. We need help to make that happen.

Ahmed needs help getting documents to allow him to travel to a country,
probably European, which can accept him, and facilitate his appeal to
the death penalty conviction in Bangladesh. He is currently being held
at Terminal Island, and is scheduled to be deported tomorrow – so time
is of the essence. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) made a
call to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s office and
requested a delay. Please let me know what you can do to help. I will
be calling your office tomorrow morning.

I have lived in Venice now almost 10 years. I have been pleased with
your performance as a congresswoman, and it is because of your record
that I now come to you for help. I have known Rouben for most of this
time, and it pains me to see his family with such trouble. Thank you
for your time.

Kelly Boston
Venice, California

Here's the LA Times story by Ashley Surdin:

A Venice man ordered to return to Bangladesh to face execution for his role in a 1975 military coup is waging an eleventh-hour battle to avoid deportation.

Mohiuddin A.K.M. Ahmed, 60, has been living in Los Angeles for the last 10 years and working as a translator for a telephone company.

He was tried in absentia in Bangladesh in 1996, convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging for taking part in the coup, which led to the killings of the country's leader and most of his family.

Ahmed, then an army major, says that although he manned a roadblock a mile from President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's home, he thought the leader would be arrested peacefully.

"Myself and others believed that the orders we received were lawful," Ahmed said. "At no time was I, or my troops, involved in any violence."

But Rahman and seven family members, including his wife and 10-year-old son, were killed, and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ahmed had participated in terrorist activity.

"Even his own account of his actions established that he assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of persons on account of their political opinion," a three-judge panel of the federal court said last month.

Ahmed's family and lawyer want him deported to another country where he could seek political asylum and fight his conviction. His lawyer, Joseph Sandoval, said Ahmed cannot appeal in Bangladesh because he was not in the country during his trial.

"Essentially, they want to take him from the plane to the gallows," Sandoval said. "We think that is fundamentally unfair." He added that his client is not the "heinous person" the U.S. and Bangladesh governments have made him out to be.

But time is running out. Ahmed was to have left the country Monday night, but Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) called Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's office and requested a delay.

"Amnesty International and our State Department has questioned the integrity of the Bangladeshi judicial system," said Tara Setmayer, a spokeswoman for Rohrabacher.

"And because of that, Dana felt as though there would be no harm in trying to buy some time for his legal counsel to find a country" where he would not be put to death.

Posted by aalkon at March 30, 2007 11:33 AM

Comments

In this particular case, the fellow doesn't appear to deserve the death penalty. In general, though, I'm not too sympathetic with "innocent" people who flee instead of standing at trial.

Posted by: doombuggy at March 30, 2007 9:14 AM

Does the U.S. have an extradition treaty with Bangladesh?

The man was a major not some poor dumb private. He participated in a coup that resulted in the death of not only the president, but of his entire family as well, including young children.

Do I think he "deserves" the death penalty for his part. Maybe not, but I'm not a Bangladeshi. The reason he was tried in absentia is because he fled the country. Even he admits this isn't a case of mistaken identity or someone being persecuted because of beliefs, opinions etc.

If he were sent to a European third country he could never be extradited to face the death penalty regardless of his guilt or innocence. Is that justice?

Posted by: winston at March 30, 2007 9:50 AM

Bangladesh is a shit hole country.

Posted by: PurplePen at March 30, 2007 12:07 PM

I guess it wasn't a US backed coup.

Posted by: smurfy at March 30, 2007 3:47 PM

I am a Bangladeshi. The damage done to Bangladesh by killing President Sheikh Mujibur was beyond repair.

Why Mujib was killed, because he was a progressive, secular leader, he was trying to seperate religion from politics and declare secularism as a priciple of the country. People who killed him was trying to convert Bangladesh to religion based theocratic, taleban stryle country. Mohiuddin was one of them.

Concerning trial, it was very fair. He was tried in a civil court, prosecutor was provided by the govenrnment in his absence.

Just think of it, a guy killed the President of US and hiding in another country. As an American will not you want to bring him back to US to face the trial? Same is the sentiment of citizens of Bangladesh.

Posted by: Iftekhar from Dhaka at March 30, 2007 6:24 PM

Face trial, yes, of course. But to be sentenced to death in abstentia? No. If he were being brought back to be tried, that would be another thing. But, it's already been decided and he can't present his case or appeal. He can't bring any evidence or defend himself.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 30, 2007 7:24 PM

Wait a minute. If you want the justice of America to apply to someone, is it not mandatory that the someone be an American citizen?


I am amazed at those people who want the protections of the American Constitution to apply to people who are not Americans - especially when they then say that imposing our will, including our Constitutional provisions, on their country is immoral, illegal or in some other way reprehensible.

Go break the law in a foreign country. See if you get Mirandized.

Posted by: Radwaste at March 30, 2007 9:26 PM

Major Mohiuddin has been a champion for democracy and he did a great service to Bangladesh by killing (if he did that at all) Sheikh Mujib and destroyed his tyrannical totalitarian rule. He started a process that democratized the country. I was born in Bangladesh, lived in Bangladesh as a teenager in 1975 and I saw the desruction that Mujib caused. a Bangladeshi and I believe that all Bangladeshis today owes him thanks.

Mujib had morphed into a Soviet-style tyrant. Although he was popularly elected at first, within a few years of getting the taste of power, he was corrupted. He abolished democratic, freedom of the press, etc. and instituted a Soviet-style one-party state. He started a political police named Rakkhi Bahini and started torturing his opponents. He destroyed the economy, expropriated all big industries and put them in the hand of his cronies who looted the economy. Major Mohiuddin and his friends valiant action saved the country.

Now if a Cuban army major kills Castro and flees to USA, would he be branded a "terrorist." or a "liberator"? So why is Mohiuddin is being victimised.

Thoise people supporting Mujib are against the principles of freedom and free-market, the basic values of America. They should be deported. America! Love it or leave it!

Posted by: alim at April 3, 2007 7:26 PM

Dear Congressman Dana Rohrabacher:

I am an American of Bangladesh descent. I am also a great supporter of our country's War on Terrorism. I think the current world is facing a dangerous period under the ominous shadow of ever expanding global Islamic jihadism.

I am writing this letter to you concerning an important issue engendered by your action to block the deportation of a convicted killer Major Mohiuddin A.K.M Ahmed to Bangladesh. He was an active conspirator and participant in a military coup on August 15, 1975, that overthrew the legitimate government of the time and brutally assassinated the country's then president and founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with members of his immediate family and other associates. Mr. Mohiuddin Ahmed and his co-conspirators did not spare 10 year old child or a new born baby.

As reward for their role to kill the founder of Bangladesh and his family and to overthrow his government the conspirators including Mr. Mohiuddin Ahmed received important diplomatic assignments and escaped justice. An Indemnity Ordinance was even issued by the military rulers of Bangladesh that forbade prosecution of these assassins.

We came to know Mr. Mohiuddin Ahmed was carrying a Pakistani passport while living in the United States. It also came to our knowledge that Mr. Mohiuddin Ahmed's co-conspirators, the few other accused killers of the Bangladeshi leader's family were in close ties with the Talebans of Afghanistan. It is quite evident that Mr. Mohiuddin Ahmed and his cohorts had an Islamist agenda when they staged the coup against a secular nationalist political leadership of Bangladesh on August 15, 1975.

In late 1996, an elected Parliament overwhelmingly reversed that Indemnity Act and the killers were brought to trial. Hundreds testified in a legitimate court of law where he was found guilty of murder in 1998. A lawyer was provided to this fugitive and the court proceedings were monitored by international agencies and foreign governments including the United States. He has been a fugitive from justice since 1996 until the U.S. law enforcement agencies finally arrested him in LA a few days ago.

He must face justice. He is a criminal and it would be unethical for the U. S. to provide him a safe haven in the U. S. or allow him to escape to a third country. He should be deported to Bangladesh to face justice.

As a conscientious American citizen, I urge you to take action that will see that justice is done and bring closure to a dark chapter in Bangladesh's history. Mr. Mohiuddin Ahmed and his co-conspirators did not give same constitutional protections that he is seeking to the people he so brutally murdered.

Sincerely,


Adel Ahmed

Posted by: Adel Ahmed at April 5, 2007 6:09 PM

Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------



Relative of slain family says man ordered deported is killer
A grandson of the Bangladeshi leader slain in a 1975 coup says a Venice man was one of the shooters.

By Ashley Surdin, Times Staff Writer
March 31, 2007


NOTE FROM AMY: ----THE REST OF THIS COMMENT (a copyrighted story posted in its entirety, has been deleted).

We have laws in this country, copyright laws among them. This is a total free speech comments section, but it is not "free speech" but theft to post another's work, in its entirety, without permission, and without payment to that individual.

You can post one link per comment to the original story and a blockquoted short excerpt, not the whole story, for purposes of discussion.

Posted by: Adel Ahmed at April 5, 2007 6:15 PM

A Terrorist Hides in The United States
Posted by Mash under Foreign Policy , Bangladesh , Human Rights , Terrorism

Once you have seen tanks on the streets, you are never the same.


NOTE FROM AMY: These are not your words, ie, they do not belong to you to post in their entirety. Rest of this post has been deleted. See my comment above on the deleted LA Times story, posted in its entirety. This is getting tiresome.

Furthermore, if you want to post a series of articles, start your own damn blog.

Posted by: Adel Ahmed at April 5, 2007 6:30 PM

Bangladesh: Will Bangabandhu’s Killers Be Finally Punished? - Bangladesh Monitor -- Paper No. 11

by Dr. Anand Kumar

NOTE FROM AMY: Rest of this post has been deleted. See my comment above on the deleted LA Times story, posted in its entirety. This is getting tiresome.

Furthermore, if you want to post a series of articles, start your own damn blog.

Posted by: Adel Ahmed at April 5, 2007 6:54 PM

Look, asswad, if I hadn't been busy deleting huge blocks of copyrighted material, I could have responded. I don't even believe in capital punishment, let alone murder. The problem here is sending a man to his death without allowing him to testify and bring evidence in his defense. That's wrong. I think killing is barbaric, and nobody has a right to take a life (clearly, you have no problem with barbarism as an answer to alleged barbarism. You might give that some thought instead of trashing up my site and making me delete a lot of shit, which pisses me off.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 5, 2007 7:02 PM

Amy, I humbly request you to do some research in the internet to see your self what this person did.

Mohiuddin is a cold blooded murderer a low life animal. He and his man killed 10 yer old boy, pregnent women, innocent house help, old lady of the house.

More then that he changed the county's political structue. Since then my country saw a slow but steady deperture from secular democracy to taliban style forcefull religious bigots capturing my beutifull country.

Bangladesh use to be part of Pakistan a religion based nation until 1971 when we Bangale stood against them under the leadership of Sheikh Mujib. He gave us a new vision that we are first and at the end nothing but humanbean. All citizen should be treated equal.

But the non Muslim's in Pakistan was second class citizen. So being Muslim him self Mujib called to fight this injustice. Entirenation stood beside him. After a bloody war for nine months of a very bloody war were 3 million people died and millions become rape victim my beloved country Bangladesh was finaly become liberated. So beutifull day it was, it was Dcember 16th of 1971.

A country started its new journey where all citizen will be equal on the eyes of the state. But on August 15th of 1975 after 3 and 1/2 years we become independent from barbaric forces of Islamic State of Pakistan Mohiuddin and his man destroyed the dream of 75 milion people and tried to take our motherland back to two nation theory of Muslim and non-muslim.

Amy, I am a Muslim by faith but I am a humanist above all. I fervently request you to think twice before you take side and do some soul search.

Its your country, you can choose to do whatever you want. Your country is powerfull and mine is poor and no might.I will cry for my weekness, I will cry for not able to give justice to who lost their loved ones because of whim of people of some powerful country of this world. But remeber Amy, time will come on our site on some point some day. Our nation will wait for justice even if we have to wait untill our next genberation. Surely we will serve justice to killer Mohiuddin.

Please forgive me for speling mistakes or grametical mistakes, I am not in good mood after seeing and reading your blog
Thanks Amy!
Shamim Chowdhury

Posted by: Shamim Chowdhury at April 5, 2007 11:56 PM

Mohiuddin is a cold blooded murderer a low life animal. He and his man killed 10 yer old boy, pregnent women, innocent house help, old lady of the house.

I don't know the guy nor do I know what he did. I believe in letting a man present a defense. If you're a humanist, as you say, and believe this man is guilty, what do you have against a fair trial?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 6, 2007 12:51 AM

PS I urge you to consider how irrational it is to believe, without evidence, in god, and how ugly and divisive religion is. Islamic countries are among the most backward on the planet, and don't think it isn't related to the suppression of women and human rights, among other backward beliefs, of Islam.

PS Christianity and Judaism are backward, too, but as Wafa Sultan said, you don't see any Jews blowing up German restaurants, now do you?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 6, 2007 12:53 AM

The trial involving Mr. Mohiuddin was conducted in the ordinary/regular court of Bangladesh called the Court of Sessions. It was not tried in any special court or under any special law. Rather the state could lawfully conduct the trial in a special tribunal under a special law made by the parliament, as the crimes committed on 15th August were not ordinary crimes which involve elements of genocide and mutiny.


The High Court Division of the Supreme Court have already confirmed the fairness of the trial. Now it is pending before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for final confirmation.


A large number of witnesses were examined and cross examined in this case. In a criminal case it is really a difficult job to convict an accused, as the leading principle in criminal law is that "crime must be proved beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt." Hence in this case some of the real criminals got acquitted as their crimes could not be proved beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt due to some obscurity of the evidences. Because it is really tough to prove a crime. The benefit of doubt is always in favour of the accused. On the other hand, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution side. That is to say, the accused don’t need to disprove his guilt, rather the prosecution (i.e., state) has to establish that none but the accused committed the crime. But the accuseds who got punishments- I must say their crimes were proved beyond all doubts. Even if the trial court is biased (some people might think that a political government was in power at that time) there are two appellate courts who thoroughly examine the case before final execution. There are ample opportunities for the accused who are really innocent. In the adversarial legal system like Bangladesh it is really a tough job for the court to convict an accused unlike the inquisitorial system where the courts play a dominant role in exploring the truth. You might know that some of the accuseds who got conviction in the trial court (Court of Sessions) got acquittal in the High Court Division of Supreme Court. But Mohiuddin's punishment was confirmed by High Court after thorough examination. So there is no scope that Mohiuddin is victimised within the process of law.


Still Mohiuddin has the chance to fight his case in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court if he thinks to be innocent. I know he will not go back voluntarily as he knows that he will not be able to disprove (already proved from the witnesses) his involvement in the killings.


Ideologically I would say it was not mere killing/murder, as ample elements of crime against humanity and mutiny were involved. It is a crime against humanity because a large number of people including children and women were killed at the same time by an organised group. Mutiny because most of them were military personnel and they violated the military law as well as law of the land to change the government by killing the president of the country. Such act amounts to “waging war against the state” (popularly known as mutiny) in our Penal Code.


I believe that the US government has utmost faith on rule of law - a system for which the US judiciary and the founding fathers of USA had immense contribution.


I believe that the US will deport Major (dismissed) Mohiuddin to Bangladesh so that he cannot defy the pronouncement of the highest court of Bangladesh.


Posted by: Zahidul Khan from Sweden at April 6, 2007 11:51 AM

Amy by supporting this man you are infect showing sympathy for people those who blew up a restaurant in Germany for weird cause they think is right. Their faulty argument is it is ok to kill innocent civilians for a greater cause when we know their cause is nothing but hatred.

Higher courts in Bangladesh is free from all forms of political influence. And it is absolutely untrue that this man will be sent straight to gallows as he arrives in Bangladesh.

To make it most influence free judgments court has taken long time to hear every bit of information available in defense as well as defendant. Do you know how long this case is in court? It’s almost nine years since 1996 and the case is still in Supreme Court. Supreme Court even didn’t start its deliberation yet. Mohiuddin will have ample of time probably years to put his defense. Please don’t trust my words and check in the internet and judge your self. There are thousands of documents in the internet on this extra judicial killing by Mohiuddin’s man. You can use Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib murder trial string for your search.

Ask your self, If Sheikh Hassina daughter of Mujib was doing it to take revenge then why she did not do it through it through a special tribunal and put all of the guilty ones to death while she was in power? She was in power as Prime Minister for five years when this case started in 1996. If she wanted as Prime Minsiter she could have influenced the court! Did she do that to influence the out come? Answer is NO. Did she try to hurry to complete the judgement before she left her office in 2001? Answer is again NO. She’s believed in regular justice system. She believed to go through a regular trial what any other citizen will got through and not any special treatment. Though most of the law enforcing agencies was suggesting going through special trial because of the magnitude of the crime.

From the High Court where Mohiuddin was tried in his absence released close to half of the defendants because of lack of evidence ( But the hole nation know they was as guilty as the others who got punishments) which proves how fare the judgment was. Now in his (Mohiuddin) case, how logical it is for you to complain of not getting justice by evading the whole justice system and stay fugitive in foreign lands for years not days or months and not standing in trial to defend your self? If you choose not to defend but stay fugitive. He did it because I believe he knew about his involvement with the killing and knew there is no defense arguments he can put to claim him clean.

Beside America can not shelter a political killer in this new world order set by it self Amy. Whether you like or not, you must honor other countries justice system as long they comply with international law and surely Bangladesh does play a significant role on that aspect.

Wishing you the very best and sorry if I hurt your feelings anyway.
Shamim Chowdhury

Posted by: Shamim Chowdhury at April 6, 2007 1:06 PM

I don't support him. I don't know him in the slightest. I support giving a person a fair trial, which means allowing them to defend themselves. Why would you object to that? Even the guilty have a right to defend themselves. What if he's not guilty? I assume neither guilt nor innocence, because I really don't know -- nor do I have a horse in this race. What I'm saying here is that a man should be given a fair trial. Should I say it one more time for the people who missed it the previous five times I said it?

Amy by supporting this man you are infect showing sympathy for people those who blew up a restaurant in Germany for weird cause they think is right.

That was conjecture. Jews don't blow up restaurants to get back at the Germans. It's the mark of a barbaric religion and culture that sends its people to die for a belief in a god there's no proof of and all the ensuing bullshit.

And you don't "hurt my feelings." I value free speech and allow it on my blog. Why would a disagreement hurt me?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 6, 2007 1:16 PM

I understand that you don't know personally or even support this guy, mohiuddin. Probably,you were encouraged by friends to just help this poor guy. You did this in good faith, I beleive. This is just a blog, but drops of help from persons like you could have an impact. This is why we, Bangladeshis are so scared of. We are getting so much pain for last 30 years due to the misdeed mohiuddin and his like minded did in Bangladesh in 1975, you can't imagine. Mohiuddin got help from powerful quarters from inside and outside Bangladesh. He enjoyed a good life for long 30 years after the killing, which he does not deserve. On the other hand, more than hundred million people are suffering in Bangladesh, which they don't deserve. Now probably time has come for us to move forward after the justice is made. This is why we, Bangladeshis are responding in your blog to stop shedding drops of help for mohiuddin.

You wrote to begin with "But, what is clear is that he was sentenced to death in abstentia -- no due process. And I'm very much against that." Did you ask yourself why the sentence was made in abstentia? Why this so called innocent(!!!) guy did not return to Bangladesh when he was ordered to from his work place in an embassy. Instead he chose to seek asylum in the USA! Does it make sense for a person being innocent?

Next is your doubt about fairness of the Trial. In my first post I tried to make clear the transparency of trial. you mentioned "no due process". I also clarified that. I hope it helps.

Amy, please help us to bring Mohiuddin back to Bangladesh, help Bangladesh to live with dignity after making proper justice to killers of the father of nation.

Posted by: Zahidul Khan from Sweden at April 6, 2007 3:33 PM

You can see how politicized this issue is by how this argument is framed on both sides.

Mohiuddin's American lawyer has stated several times that he will not be allowed to appeal his conviction in Bangladesh. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has brought up that the American government had questions about the integrity of the Bangladeshi judicial system - which was why he requested a delay to look into the situation in more detail. I think most people who questioned the deportation were not questioning Mohiuddin's guilt or innocence. They were questioning weather the man would be allowed to present evidence in his own defense. Justice is not served by disallowing the guilty a defense. Everyone must be allowed a defense or the system of justice falls apart.

As I stated in my earlier letter, I'm not sure if the man is guilty or innocent. But I feel strongly that he should not be deported unless he is guaranteed a chance within the Bagladesh Justice system to appeal his conviction, and present evidence (possibly not presented during a trial in abstentia) in his own defense. IF the government guarrantees this opportunity, then he should be returned to his home country to face his conviction fairly.

I do feel that the original crime was a terrible one. All human life is sacred. I don't know if the president who was killed was a good man or a bad one. To me it doesen't matter. He was killed, his family was killed, and they should have justice. However that justice is not served if there is ANY question regarding who was responsible for their death. Mohiuddin should have his day in court so that all sides of the matter have been aired. Considering that yet another life hangs in the balance, it is important to be sure. That is all I wanted when I posted my letter. I did not want cause pain to the family who lost their loved ones.

Posted by: Kelly Boston at April 6, 2007 10:01 PM

Amy you said "I don't support him. I don't know him in the slightest. I support giving a person a fair trial, which means allowing them to defend themselves. Why would you object to that? Even the guilty have a right to defend themselves."
This will be my last posting in your site, allow me to ask you few question.

1. In your mind how long a murder case should stay open and not serve justice because some defendants decide to stay fugitive FOREVER even after getting proper order from lawful court? Justice for these murder is in hold since 15th August of 1975. Thirty two is not enough? justice delayed justice denied.

2. Do you really believe Mohiuddin wants justice? I don't buy that, but still for argument you are asking for his day in court then why he did not when one was offered.

3. he is planing to buy some time to go to another country to seek political asylum and stay out of justice for life and you are giving your support by argument so that he can plan to put his defense to prove him not guilty. Do you really believe that? you really think if he has a chance to put his case he will face the lawful court? I can bet with you, he will not. If he ever had that intention then he was in US a free country since 1996 before the trial started. My question to you is why he did not took that chance and put a defense then?
You are doing nothing but surely helping a convicted killer of women and children to scape from his crime, from justice to safe haven.

4. Finally in your argument you think we never should give justice to loved ones and wait until Mohiuddin decides not the law when to face it or never if decides not to face the truth!!
Is this is the law of the land you leave in? if so I have nothing but pity for your system where justice can not be served for 32 years because of some killer decides not to face the court and when one is served seeing no wait will make difference then they take refuge in foreign country and people of that country take his side in the name of justice but not stand for people who died.

That's what happened around the world, what difference is there when some killers take shelter in America or Afghanistan and people of the land give them shelter with their whim not logic, I am sorry to say I really see no difference.

Thank you Amy for allowing me to put my thoughts in your blog, Now you do what ever you think right, let your government do what ever they think right. Killer Mohiuddin will have our curse to carry his entire life and I pray he face the natures verdict and lead a life in mental hospital in trauma for his life if he scape his deserved sentence.

Shamim Chowdhury

Posted by: Shamim Chowdhury at April 6, 2007 11:42 PM

Like Kelly Boston, I have no idea whether this man is guilty or innocent. My concern is with the right to a fair trial -- see the link below -- a right in civilized nations. The rest above are emotional arguments, and should not have bearing on the right to a fair trial:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_a_fair_trial

The Right to a fair trial is an essential right in all countries respecting the rule of law. It is explicitly proclaimed in Article Ten of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, and Article Six of the European Convention of Human Rights, as well as numerous other constitutions and declarations throughout the world. The essential ingredients for a fair and just civil trial must include a competent, neutral and detached judge (an independent judge); the absence of any intimidation of witnesses and ideally, an equal weight of arms, i.e. a level playing field in terms of legal representation, such as a right to counsel for criminal defendants.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 7, 2007 1:06 AM

Here's more from Amnesty International:

http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/fairtrial/fairtria.htm

Even the worst criminal has a right to a fair trial, and denying even the worst criminal a fair trial degrades the justice system for all.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 7, 2007 1:09 AM

First, I must say none of the victims in 1975 killing had blood relation with me. But Mujib is the father of Bangladesh. So, he is more than a relative. Second, none of my arguments were emotionaly made. I beleive, they follow logics. Last, I would like to say the following.

Although it was mentioned in my first post, I repeat "Still Mohiuddin has the chance to fight his case in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in Bangladesh if he thinks to be innocent". It seems you have not read that post or you are not convinced by the clarification. It's OK. If someone is preoccupied with the firm belief that the trial was not fair, none can help.

You wrote "My concern is with the right to a fair trial -- see the link below -- a right in civilized nations". Someone else here made a comment "Bangladesh is a shit hole country". OMG!! You did not delete this! You allowed this insulting language made to a country! These indicate what you think about Bangladesh. My head is spinning after finding out this comment about my country. I must say, this was possible because people like mohiuddin had put our country in such a position that a nutter could make a disrespectful comment toward us.

Amy, I respect your nation, your democracy, the freedom people enjoy there. We may be economically a poor country, but please don't teach us civilization, culture and these things alike. You can't buy these. These are being developed by thousands of years' social nurturing.

P.S: I'll visit but will not make comments in this blog because of the insulting words made towards Bangladesh.

Posted by: Zahidul Khan from Sweden at April 7, 2007 4:32 AM

I don't delete comments. It's a free speech blog -- free speech being an essential part of democracy. You're free to rebut any comments you don't agree with. Or sit huffily with your hands at your side -- as you wish. There are many comments here that say most insulting things about me. I don't delete those either.

Don't just pump back the same emotionally driven diatribes at me. Read the links about what constitutes a fair trial. The man was not there to present his defense, just for starters.

I don't respect your nation, but I might when it starts having a justice system with what's understood, amongst civilized countries, to have what's considered actual justice.

See the Amnesty link. It's quite exhaustive on what's missing from your system.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 7, 2007 7:16 AM

I regret to post again. But just to say one thing - disrespecting another nation is not free speech especially in the language of 'shit hole'. You don't need to respect our nation. It is not the learning in american school. But we learn to respect other nation in our childhood whatever that nation is. This is the difference of culture and civilization. Money can be made in 400 years not a healthy culture.

I request you to read the recent volumes of Amnesty and Transparency Int. reports on American Admin. Recent histories says the disrespect you expressed to another nation is typical for americans. They don't respect other nations they disagree with. They think what they are doing that is the best. This is, you can say, the bull shit coming out of a shit hole. Sorry to say this. America disagree with a nation first, then disrespect and then talk in the language of power and then they invade to ultimately make a mess.

I searched your blog but could not find your voice against institutionalized torture committed by americans. I don't want to say where. If you don't know that, forget this post once and forever.

However, what I just said it's only the recent history of the USA. I still respect your nation. It does not matter wheather you respect us or not. God bless America.

Bye bye.

Posted by: Zahidul Khan from Sweden at April 7, 2007 8:54 AM

Recent histories says the disrespect you expressed to another nation

I don't randomly lack respect for your nation -- I lack it for a reason. Detailed repeatedly above.

We have a lot of problems here in American and do a lot of really dumbass things. That said, your "justice" system is abysmal (see link).

This blog is CHOCK FULL of criticisms of America. You are just like a small boy who can't stand to see his team criticized.

Furthermore, regarding your insincere "god bless America" at the end -- I'm not a primitive, so I don't believe in god or any other unproven crap. And I am thankful I don't live in a country where men throw acid in women's faces and go free.

http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/acidattacks.html

Barbaric. A backward society that needs much reform. The fact that you argue with a man's right to a fair trial says it all. I don't care if the man in question is a serial killer and you watched him murder your four children. In a civilized society, it's a basic right.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 7, 2007 7:28 PM

Here is the order of the "UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS" against Mohiuddin. http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/coa/memdispo.nsf/pdfview/022307/$File/03-74603.PDF

The court gave the decision that the the murder trial in his absentia was not unfair. Now I want to see wheather you disrespect US justice system as well or not. Be a real factfinder.

I never said that Bangladesh justice system is flawless. I argued that mohiuddin's trial was not unfair. By this murder case I think you can also imagine how the criminals (who throw acid in human face) escape. Our law punish acid thrower with life time imprisonment.

However, last 10 years we hardly hear any case of acid throwing in Bangladesh. Before there were a few, not even in double digit from a population of 150 million. But few organizations projected these cases internationly as a big problem in Bangladesh to beg money from foreign organizations. I'm not defending acid thrower, my point is that it was not a social phenomenon which we can't solve ourselves. In fact we ourselves have almost solved it. Finally, Those were criminal cases beyond any doubt like the cases 'father raping his daughter' in the US. Criminals don't define a society as civilized or uncivilized.

Posted by: Zahidul Khan from Sweden at April 9, 2007 5:17 AM

Now I want to see wheather you disrespect US justice system as well or not.

When we disagree with a decision, disputing it is part of the process, as is speaking freely about it, which I 'm doing.

The court system with the right to a fair trial is part of a civilized society.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 9, 2007 6:48 AM

And here's a story about acid attacks from the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4498905.stm

There were 332 cases recorded in 2004. I'm just a dumb American, and I probably can't manage the math, but is that "hardly...any case"? I don't think the victims would think so.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 9, 2007 6:51 AM

"When we disagree with a decision, disputing it is part of the process".

Which point in the verdit do you disagree with? Do you think mohiuddin did not get a fair trial in the US court?

Posted by: Zahidul Khan from Sweden at April 9, 2007 10:06 AM

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