Bangladesh kills two suspects linked to 2016 Dhaka cafe attack

The Dhaka cafe attackers took 22 hostages and killed them in the span of 12 hours. (AFP/File)
Updated 29 April 2019

Bangladesh kills two suspects linked to 2016 Dhaka cafe attack

  • Bangladeshi police said they are still trying to remove the huge number of explosives in the house
  • The café attack in Dhaka killed 22 people

DHAKA, Bangladesh: Bangladesh security forces on Monday killed at least two people suspected of belonging to a militant group behind a deadly cafe attack in Dhaka in 2016, police said after a raid at a tin-shed hideout in the capital.
Police cordoned off the area after receiving information about the presence of suspected members of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a home-grown militant group that killed 22 people in the cafe attack.
“When our forces knocked on the door, the residents of the house fired at our people instead of opening it,” Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of the legal and media wing of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), told reporters. “Then members of the RAB responded. There is still huge amount of explosives and our special force are trying to remove it.”
Khan said three people, including the owner of the house, had been detained for questioning.
Bangladesh launched a crackdown on militancy after the cafe attack as part of what Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calls a “zero tolerance” policy.
Militants attacked the cafe in July 2016, taking 22 hostages, mostly foreigners, who were killed over 12 hours.


Hague hearing offers ray of hope to Bangladesh’s Rohingya

Updated 24 min 55 sec ago

Hague hearing offers ray of hope to Bangladesh’s Rohingya

  • International Court of Justice seeks to address atrocities committed by Myanmar

DHAKA: Several members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar expressed optimism on Monday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would rule in their favor once it began its three-day hearing against Myanmar on Tuesday.

The case was filed by Gambia on behalf of all Muslim nations from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with the ICJ over the alleged persecution of the Rohingya by the Myanmar military.

On Nov. 18, the court decided to hold the hearings from Dec.10 to 12. Gambia’s justice minister will lead his country during the hearings.

Both Canada and Bangladesh have been supporting Gambia by providing different data and information regarding the atrocities against the Rohingya.

Myanmar’s state councillor and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has already reached  the Netherlands to lead the defense lawyers on behalf of her country at the ICJ.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque will remain present at the courtroom to witness the process.

He will lead a 20-member team, comprising government officials and civil society representatives.

Rohingya at Cox’s Bazar are highly optimistic of securing justice at the ICJ.

“We think justice will be ensured because all international human rights groups, different UN organizations and the international community have got evidence of the persecution on the Rohingya. All of them have visited the refugee camps many times and listened to the plight of the Rohingya,” Sawyed Ullah, a community leader from Jamtoli, told Arab News.

“Also, we have strong evidences of atrocities committed by the Myanmar government to root out the Rohingya from their birth place, Rakhine,” Ullah added.

“Without ensuring accountability, there will not be any safety and justice in Rakhine. Once the accountability is restored,  all of us will be able to go back home.”

Ramjan Ali, another refugee from the Kutupalang camp, said: “Myanmar’s government has forcibly displaced the Rohingya from their own land and that compelled us to shelter here at the refugee camps. Isn’t it enough evidence to justify our allegations against the Myanmar government?”

Ramjan Ali added: “Still the situation in Rakhine is very bad as we receive information from our relatives over there. We need protection from the international forces before any repatriation, and the ICJ’s decision will be helpful for us in this regard.”

Rohingya human rights activist Nay San Lwin, co-founder of the German-based Free Rohingya Coalition described the ICJ’s move as historic.

“It is first ever since we are persecuted. We have been seeking for justice since very long time,” Lwin told Arab News, adding that “finally the case is now at the world court and although it will take several years we are now excited for provisional measures from the court.”

Lwin, along with some 200 Rohingya rights activists from around the world, is set to hold a protest rally at the Hague from Dec. 11 during the ICJ’s hearing.

“We are expecting very much from the ICJ. Regardless whether Myanmar follows the decisions of the court this will have a huge impact. There won’t be any other justice mechanisms if this international court of justice can’t ensure the justice for us,” added Lwin.

Expressing his frustration on the repatriation process, Lwin said that the Myanmar government still had a “genocidal policy” on the Rohingya.

“I don’t think repatriation of the Rohingya will take place soon unless the government is considering to fulfill our demands,” he said.

The ICJ’s final decision will hold strong significance as any decisions taken by the ICJ are binding on member states.

Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories of the Genocide Convention.