Bangladesh court sentences 9 to death for 1994 attack on Sheikh Hasina

At least 19 attacks or assassination attempts have been made against Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of the Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. (AFP)
Updated 04 July 2019

Bangladesh court sentences 9 to death for 1994 attack on Sheikh Hasina

  • The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party rejected the verdict, calling it politically motivated
  • At least 19 attacks or assassination attempts have been made against Sheikh Hasina

DHAKA: A court in Bangladesh has sentenced nine opposition activists to death and 25 others to life in prison for an attack on a train carrying political leader Sheikh Hasina 24 years ago.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Hasina’s archrival and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, rejected Wednesday’s verdict, calling it politically motivated.
The current prime minister and then-opposition leader, Hasina was riding a passenger train attacked at Pakshi Rail Station on Sept. 23, 1994. The attackers fired shots and hurled bombs at the train, injuring scores of people, though Hasina was unhurt.
The Paban district trial court also Wednesday sentenced 13 other people to 10 years in jail in a case filed under the Explosives Substances Act of 1908.
The prosecution and local Awami League leaders voiced satisfaction the offenders had been convicted even after the completion of the trial took 24 years.
BNP’s Pabna unit office secretary Jahirul Islam said all of the convicts are leaders and activists of the party and its associate bodies.
In a statement, BNP Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged the verdict was “dictated” and “cruel” and alleged the train attack had been staged to create a political issue. “The verdict is part of the government’s policy to eliminate BNP using the court,” the BNP leader added.
Hasina won her fourth term and her third straight with an overwhelming victory in Bangladesh’s last election in late December. Amid worry that the dominating victory would allow her to become more authoritarian, she vowed when Parliament opened that she would allow criticism from the opposition.
The main opposition alliance received only seven of the 300 seats in Parliament. Zia’s party is the main partner of the alliance.
Hasina and Zia have ruled the country alternately since 1991, when democracy returned after nine years of military rule. Zia is serving two corruption sentences in cases she says are politically motivated.
At least 19 attacks or assassination attempts have been made against Hasina, the eldest daughter of the country’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was brutally killed along with several family members in a coup by an army cabal in 1975.


Brussels to ‘rebuild’ ties with UK after Boris win: EU Internal Market Commissioner

Updated 13 December 2019

Brussels to ‘rebuild’ ties with UK after Boris win: EU Internal Market Commissioner

  • Both sides then still need to thrash out a new trade and security agreement
  • Any future trade deal had to ensure that the EU’s social and environmental norms were also applied to trade with Britain

PARIS: The EU will have to rebuild its ties with London after Boris Johnson’s election victory which is likely to lead to Brexit in January, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner said on Friday.
“We now have to rebuild relations with Great Britain which is an important partner,” Thierry Breton told French RTL radio, saying the bloc wanted “balanced” trade relations with the UK.
With almost all results declared for the 650-seat British parliament, Johnson’s Conservative party has secured a sweeping victory and he is now expected to deliver on his promise to “Get Brexit Done.”
His majority should allow him to get the divorce deal he struck with Brussels through parliament in time to meet the next Brexit deadline of January 31.
Both sides then still need to thrash out a new trade and security agreement.
Breton said he expected the European Council meeting Friday in Brussels to give the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier a new mandate for talks with London.
He said Britain was a very important trade partner for the EU, “but we are by far the biggest trading partner for Britain.”
Any future trade deal had to ensure that the EU’s social and environmental norms were also applied to trade with Britain.