Muslim Aid/East London Mosque/NHS/Muslim Council of Britain bigwig Chowdhury Mueen Uddin sentenced to hang
This is cross-post from Trial by Jeory
This is what you might call a holding post because I’m sure many more considered words and analysis will be filed by others on this subject.
This is from the Official Website of Chowdhury Mueen Uddin:
Chowdhury Mueen Uddin was Director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS. Since 2005, he has been advising healthcare providers on how best to provide patients spiritual care at times of need. In this capacity, he currently chairs the Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy.
He served on the Board of a number of distinguished charities. These include, among others, Board member Labo Housing Association and Gateway Housing Association; Past board member and vice chairman – As-Shahada Housing Association; Chairman and board member – Muslim Aid; Vice Chairman – East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre).
He served as the Secretary General of the Council of Mosques UK and Eire for 2 terms (1984 – 1988) and was involved – along with many others – in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
He was formerly Deputy Director of the Islamic Foundation, Markfield, Leicestershire (1995 – 2005) and, prior to that, worked for a leading Housing Association in London.
Chowdhury Mueen Uddin is married and lives in London. He was born in Bangladesh and read Literature at the University of Dhaka. He began his career as a journalist, filing moving accounts of the Great 1970 Cyclone and interviewing the burgeoning independence leader of that country, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
And today the BBC reports this about him:
A UK Muslim leader and a US citizen have been sentenced to death over crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
UK-Bangladeshi Muslim community leader Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khanwas were being tried in absentia by a special tribunal in Bangladesh.
They were found guilty on 11 charges relating to the abduction and killing of 18 independence supporters.
Verdicts in similar cases have sparked violent reactions in Bangladesh.
The proceedings of the International Crimes Tribunal have come under criticism from several rights groups, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, which has described the trials as flawed.
The online news service BD24 has more detail:
Al Badr leaders Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin have been sentenced to death for killing top Bengali intellectuals in the last days of the 1971 Liberation War.
The two have been found guilty of torture and murder of 18 intellectuals including nine Dhaka University teachers, six journalists and three doctors during the war.
Justice Obaidul Hassan-led International Crimes Tribunal-2 said the prosecution had proven all the 11 charges against the two ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
The ICT-2 Chairman started the proceedings with his initial remarks at around 11am.
A total 41 pages of the 154-page verdict were read out.
Justice Shahinur Islam read out the first part of the 41-page summary verdict and Justice Mujibur Rahman Mia read the second part.
Justice Mia said the involvement of Ashrafuzzman and Mueen-Uddin with the killings of 18 intellectuals had been proven conclusively.
At times, they carried out the murders, sometimes they instigated and encouraged them, said the judge.
The two had complete control over the Al Badr during the Liberation War, said the verdict.
The tribunal in its verdict said Ashrafuzzaman and Mueen-Uddin will be ‘hanged until death’ for their war-time atrocities.
Other two judges — Justice Md Mujibur Rahman Mia and Judge Shahinur Islam — read out parts of the verdict.
Sunday’s verdict described how the former leaders of the Islami Chhatra Sangha, Jamaat’s student affiliate in 1971, had abducted and killed the intellectuals between Dec 11 and Dec 15 in 1971.
Ashrafuzzaman was the ‘chief planner’ and Mueen-Uddin was the ‘operation in-charge’ of the massacre.
A diary recovered from Ashrafuzzaman’s Nakhalparha residence in Dhaka after independence contained the plan for the massacre and a list of targets.
Freedom fighters waiting outside the court and the Ganajagaran Mancha supporters hailed the sentence. Hundreds turned out on the streets in Gopalganj and Feni — home districts of the two convicts — to celebrate the verdict.
They demanded its swift execution. The prosecution also expressed satisfaction.
It is the ninth verdict of the ongoing war crimes trials involving the two tribunals.
So far, six former and current Jamaat leaders and two BNP leaders have been convicted.
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin was born in November, 1948 at Chanpur in Feni’s Dagonbhuiyan to Delowar Hossain.
He was a student of Bangla department at Dhaka University during the Liberation War and worked as a staff correspondent of Dainik Purbadesh.
According to case details, Mueen-Uddin was a central leader of Jamaat’s student front and member of the notorious militia outfit Al Badr.
He was given ‘important’ position in Al Badr and he spearheaded the execution of the Bengali intelligentsia towards the end of the Liberation War.
Mueen-Uddin’s family, too, had come out strongly in support of Pakistan, according to the prosecution.
He fled to Pakistan and to the UK from there, after Bangladesh gained independence. He has been residing in London since.
Apart from discharging important duties of Jamaat-affiliated ‘Dawatul Islam’ in London, he is also the executive editor of weekly Dawat.
He is one of the directors of National Health Services, a trustee of the Muslim Aid and chairman of Tottenham mosque’s executive committee.
On his website, the former Al Badr leader has admitted to his war-time role for a ‘unified Pakistan’.
In an interview to Al-Jazeera’s Jonah Hull for the program ‘Talk to Al-jazeera’ in July, he said the tribunal was a ‘joke’.
For the record, Mueen-Uddin, whom I met on the doorstep of his north London home in 2008, a couple of hours before I was sent a threatening legal letter by Toby Cadman, then a partner at libel lawyers Carter Ruck, strongly denies the charges.
(And there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of him being extradited, largely due to Bangladesh’s use of the death penalty, but also because of serious concerns over the way these tribunals were conducted. If the Bangladesh National Party/Jamaat e Islami alliance win back power in the New Year, as many expect, these verdicts will be quashed anyway.)
Although he lives in Enfield, he has very strong links to Tower Hamlets, and not just through his work with the East London Mosque, the London Muslim Centre and the Royal London Hospital.
Note the name Dawatul Islam in the article above. He founded it.
It has received well in excess of £100,000–perhaps way more–over the years, both from Labour dominated Grants Panels and more recently from Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s grant pot.
As recently as August, Lutfur announced another £40,000 for it for a “Girl’s Talk” project. It’s aimed at preventing girls getting involved in gangs, which is kind of ironic given the history of some of Lutfur’s chief supporters..
The detail is here.
Just saying …