Eight suspected Islamist militants were on Sunday charged in connection with the 2015 murder of a secularist Bangladeshi publisher in Dhaka, officials said.
The court official, Ruhul Amin, said an anti-terrorism court in Dhaka accepted the charges against the eight suspects belonging to the outlawed Islamist group, Ansar al-Islam for the killing of Faisal Arefin Deepan.
The court also issued arrest warrants against two fugitives, including a sacked army officer, and announced that the trial of the suspects would commence Nov.18.
Deepan, the owner of publishing house Jagriti Prokashoni, was hacked to death at his office in central Dhaka on Oct. 31, 2015, the same day assailants attacked Ahmedur Tutul inside his office at the publishing house Shuddhaswar.
However, fortunately for Tutul, he survived the attack.
Both Deepan and Tutul published books by the secularist U.S. writer Avijit Roy, who was also hacked to death by Islamists in Feb. 2015, at a book fair in Dhaka.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh experienced a wave of attacks on secular writers, bloggers, academics, priests and people from minority faiths between early 2013 and 2016.
The attacks were claimed either by Islamic State or al-Qaeda or their local affiliates, but the investigators maintained home-grown militants were behind the attacks.
The deadliest attack was carried out on a restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone where 20 civilians, mostly foreigners, were killed before army commandos shot down five armed militants inside the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, 2016.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi security forces killed more than 100 suspected Islamists in anti-militant raids launched in response to those attacks.
Edited by Yahaya Isah/Felix Ajide
Killing of unarmed black man in United States condemned in Africa
The death of George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody last week, is facing fierce condemnation in Africa as two separate autopsies released Monday both found Floyd’s death to be a homicide.
The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Friday condemned the police “murder” of Floyd in the United States.
Mahamat was referring to the death of George Floyd on May 25 shortly after a white police officer in Minneapolis held him down with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleas by Floyd he was struggling to breathe.
“I strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said in a statement.
“I urge the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin,” said the statement from Mahamat.
The president of Ghana, Nana Akuffo-Addo, also condemned the killing on Monday night on his official facebook account as violent protests continue in dozens of U.S. cities following his death in police custody.
“Black People, the world over, are shocked and distraught by the killing of an unarmed man, George Floyd, by a white police officer in the United States of America. It carried with it an all too painful familiarity, and an ugly reminder,” said the president.
“We stand with our kith and kin in America in these difficult times, and we hope that the unfortunate, tragic death of George Floyd will inspire a lasting change in how America confronts head on the problems of hate and racism,” said Akuffo-Addo.
Former African presidents also joined the condemnation.
The Forum of Former Heads of State and Government has urged African countries to “raise a strong protest” to the killing and demand that the “perpetrators of this crime and all other crimes of this sort be punished in the strongest terms”, according to a statement released by former Beninese President Nicephore Soglo.
“While we note the action taken by American authorities in charging one of the officers who was caught on camera kneeling on an unarmed (George) Floyd, it is equally concerning that incidents of police brutality against African American citizens are on the increase,” the party said in a statement available to Xinhua on Tuesday.
The cascade of recent cases involving police brutality against black Americans “has sharpened the focus on inescapable realities that American society places a perilously low value on black lives,” the ANC said.
“It’s deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin,” the party said.
The ANC urged the South African government to engage with the American government through established diplomatic channels to diffuse racial tensions and build social cohesion among different races.
“Despite the American constitution granting citizenship to every American, and blacks are Americans, the political and economic system is biased against those at the bottom of the social pyramid,” said Elisio Macamo, a sociologist from Mozambique, currently a professor of African Studies at the University of Basel.
“The racial problem in America is, on the one hand, the sequel to a poorly worked past and, on the other hand, a manifestation of the limits of a liberal political culture that does not place the creation of opportunities as a means for the individual to actually enjoy freedom,” said Macamo.
Zambian human rights specialist Eugene Kabilika challenged the United States to demonstrate by example the human rights it purports to promote by dealing sternly with perpetrators of criminal injustice.
Kabilika, who is Caritas Zambia Executive Director, further explained that the history of the U.S. is full of such unfortunate stories of racial discrimination against African Americans noting that they (African Americans) have undergone many struggles that include being freed from slavery and having the opportunity to vote.
He further asserted that such happenings create instability and lead to lack of peace in the world, adding that it is up to the leaders to move into the right trajectory and failure to which the world becomes unsafe for all.
Militants attacks kill 8 Afghan security personnel in Logar province
Militants attack repulsed, 5 including 2 police killed in northern Afghanistan
Five people including two police and three insurgents were killed as clash flared up in Imam Sahib district of Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province on Monday, district governor Mahboubullah Sayedi said.
A group of Taliban insurgents attacked a police checkpoint in Nawabad area of the restive Imam Sahib district at 02:00 a.m. local time and police returned fire, forcing the militants to flee after leaving three bodies behind, the official added.
In the fighting that lasted for an hour, two police personnel were also killed, the official said.
Taliban militants, who are in control of parts of Kunduz province with Kunduz city as its capital 250 km north of Kabul, have yet to make comments.
Militants attack repulsed, 5 including 2 police killed in N. Afghanistan
Two police and three militants were killed as clash flared up in Imam Sahib district of the northern Kunduz province on Monday, district governor Mahboubullah Sayedi said.
A group of Taliban insurgents attacked a police checkpoint in Nawabad area of the restive Imam Sahib district at 02:00 a.m. local time and police returned fire, forcing the militants to flee after leaving three bodies behind, the official asserted.
In the fighting which lasted for an hour, two police personnel were also killed, the official admitted.
Taliban militants, who are in control of parts of Kunduz province with Kunduz city as its capital have yet to make comments.