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Bangladesh set to execute 1971 War criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem

Quasem had spent a huge sum of money to appoint a US lobbyist to make the war crimes trials controversial

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Old Dhaka Central Jail (representational Image). Image source: Wikimedia
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Dhaka, September 3, 2016: As Bangladesh jail authorities prepare to execute war criminal Mir Quasem Ali and his family has been asked to meet him for one last time at the Kashimpur Central Jail on Saturday.

The family has come to terms with the execution of Quasem, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader and one of the financiers of the fundamentalist party. Quasem on Friday refused his last lifeline — presidential clemency.

In a Facebook post, Quasem’s daughter Sumaiya Rabeya said her father was a soft-hearted person who would cry every time he made a speech. She said the family was going to meet him, probably for the last time, and had come to terms with his impending execution. This would only make him a martyr, something that he had struggled for during his entire life, said Quasem’s daughter Sumaiya, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

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Quasem’s wife Khandaker Ayesha Khatun has been asked by the prison authorities to meet her husband on Saturday late afternoon.

The execution of death sentence now awaits the government’s clearance. No official announcement was made until Saturday morning about it.

Rayerbazar killing field photographed immediately after the war, showing dead bodies of intellectuals (image courtesy: Rashid Talukdar, 1971). Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Rayerbazar killing field photographed immediately after the war, showing dead bodies of intellectuals (image courtesy: Rashid Talukdar, 1971). Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The jail Superintendent Prashanta Kumar Banik told bdnews24.com on Friday night, “The jail authorities are always ready to carry out the government’s order. The hanging will be executed once clear instructions are received from the top.”

Quasem, 63-year-old Jamaat-e-Islami leader and business tycoon whose atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War in Chittagong earned him the nickname ‘Bangali Khan’, can be executed any time.

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On Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court upheld his death penalty for war crimes, Quasem had sought time to decide his next course of action.

He was sentenced to death in 2014 by the country’s specially constituted International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), for the atrocities he committed during the 1971 Liberation War as an Al-Badr commander.

His last review petition was rejected by the Appellate Division of the apex court on Tuesday.

Quasem had spent a huge sum of money to appoint a US lobbyist to make the war crimes trials controversial. (IANS)

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First satellite launched by Bangladesh

It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh's specified orbit slot "within 36 minutes" of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

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In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14 billion taka ($180 million) loan agreement with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country's first-ever satellite.
Satellite, pixabay

Bangladesh launched its first satellite, “Bangabandhu-1”, on Saturday, becoming the 57th nation in the world and fourth in South Asia after India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to own a satellite.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted the communication satellite, named after the Bangladesh founder, early in the morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida, bdnews24 reported.

It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh’s specified orbit slot “within 36 minutes” of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

The launch was telecast live in Bangladesh, with experts saying it will serve as a milestone in the telecommunication sector.

“The satellite will be a great addition to our Information Technology heralding our entry into the Satellite Club of the world,” said Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message.

"The satellite will be a great addition to our Information Technology heralding our entry into the Satellite Club of the world," said Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message.
Bangladesh, pixabay

“The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will certainly bring revolutionary changes in our broadcast and telecommunications sector. With this launching, we’ve hoisted the Bangladesh flag in the space… entered a new era.”

She thanked the satellite building and launching company, the US and the French governments for their support. Hasina also praised Russia for renting its orbital slot to Bangladesh.

Experts said that the country’s first geostationary communication satellite will give extra space to the digitization process. It will help expand Internet and telecommunication services in remote and rugged areas which still remained beyond the coverage.

Once the satellite becomes active at its orbital slot, it will be reportedly controlled from three stations in the US, Italy and South Korea for about a month. Finally, the satellite will be controlled and maintained from ground stations in Bangladesh.

In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14 billion taka ($180 million) loan agreement with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country’s first-ever satellite.

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In November 2015, Bangladesh signed a 19.51 billion taka ($248 million) deal with French firm Thales Alenia Space for the satellite project.

The Bangladeshi government also purchased a 119.1 east longitude orbital slot from Russia-based Intersputnik for 15 years for $28 million. (IANS)