It says so clearly in The Holy <insert name of fictional book> that beggars were put on Earth as a source of our amusement. This theory is blasphemy." "There is no way the beggar's perfectly adapted anatomy occurred simply by chance." "The theory of devolution is brilliant and will revolutionise the way we study beggars." "It is just a theory. I mean, if beggars came from poor people, then why are there still poor people?" "It is human nature to not stray from our comfort zone. We need to understand that the theory of devolution does not push us out of our comfort zone but rather expand it. The Earth is not the centre of the Universe, the world is not flat and beggars came from poor people.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Mass protests have erupted after the ICT delivered it's second verdict. The first, of Abul Kalam Azad, was a death sentence. The second one was not. Kader Mollah got off sentenced to life in prison. After that, if you'll excuse my French, shit hit the fan. Or actually, things were starting to boil even before that. Jamaat had called hartals (strikes) multiple times before the verdict and at one point, even threatened civil war. After this verdict, they went quiet. But what no one anticipated was the uproar of the general populace. Thousands flocked to Shahbagh, which has now been termed "Projonmo Chottor" (Generation Circle) after a brief stint as Shahbagh Square. They've been there since the day of the verdict. They say they'll stay there till the sentence is changed to a death sentence. When I went there on Wednesday, the first thing I saw was an ominous effigy, hanging silently from the traffic lights. In the main circle, speeches, chants and songs sound out (since then, they've added microphones and speaker systems), Some of these chants included "Kader Mollah jobai chai" (I want the slaughter of Kader Mollah) and the crowd favourite, "faashi chai" (I want a hanging).
|Not the effigy I was talking about, couldn't find a picture of that, but you get the point.|
Now as to my standpoint on this. I have never advocated capital punishment. I still do not. I never will. That's just me. I cannot under any circumstance bring myself to go there and scream "faashi chai". In fact, what I saw at Shahbagh repulsed me. Bloodlusted animals. That is what we've become in that square.
Let me explain further; the ICT is a farce (and this is a word I shall use often). I'll break up why the ICT is a farce into three parts.
1) The judiciary is not independent. It claims to be but come on, Bangladeshis know better than that. And there's a certain Economist article which seems to suggest my accusation might be right. Govt. pressure was definitely there on the tribunal. Whether they caved to it or not, is another issue and I will not say for sure they did.
2) The evidence is farcical. Hell, they're lucky they got a decision at all. Most of what happened in these courts was hearsay. Hearsay. How does hearsay EVER have any weight in a court of law? There were "eye-witnesses" sure. Most contradicted themselves by giving different versions of their stories on the stand and in the interview with the Investigation Officer. The others were unreliable, mostly Awami League (the ruling govt.) supporters. That is of course not to say their statements should not be counted. As eye witnesses they are the key, heck, the only pieces of evidence in a trial 40 years overdue. But if this were a court adhering to international standards, yeah, no. Nowhere near sufficient evidence.
3) And speaking of international standards, the ICT was nowhere near it. When the foreign minister came out after the verdict of Abul Kalam Azad and said that the trial met "the requirements of fair trial in compliance with the standards invoked in other trials of international crimes committed around the globe and historically", it was laughable. Witness intimidation was rampant, the number of defence witnesses were randomly curtailed, summons were not given out for defence witnesses, defence cases closed before they got the chance to summon a witness, etc. One witness was even abducted outside the courtroom. Forget international standards, this doesn't even live up to Bangladeshi standards.
Lets assume that the ICT did resist govt. pressure. According to a friend, who's father is a judge at ICT-2 (the court where Kader Mollah was tried), Kader Mollah was not tried for first degree murder whereas Abul Kalam Azad, or as he is better known now, Bacchu Razakar, was. Bacchu pulled the trigger himself. Kader didn't. Kader handed out orders. Thus he cannot be tried for first degree murder and was thus instead charged as having "complicity" to murder. When someone is charged for this, they, by law, cannot receive a death sentence. The highest level of punishment available to them, is life imprisonment and thus Bacchu received the death penalty while Kader was sentenced to life in prison.
Let's now assume that the govt. did get their way (which is not all that unlikely). Why would they want to lower his sentence? If anything this govt. desired more than stuffing cash down their pockets (or sarees), it was to get this war crimes thing done and dusted. One theory is that they caved to Jamaati pressure. Jamaat is a fundamentalist party. Fundamentalists are generally synonymous with fanatics. So when Jamaat threatened civil war, they could very well carry it out. So to keep them happy, they could've lowered the man's sentence.
|The guilty party|
Corrigendum and Updates: I had stated that a death penalty was not possible for his charges. That is wrong. Under the ICT act, a judge has discretion to give anyone any punishment they deem is worthy of the crime for which that person is convicted. Not only that, for charges 5 and 6, he was convicted of more than complicity. Now, to give him death on the first three charges would be insane. They don't even have proof that the man was even at the scene of the crime. Normally, first degree murder and terrorism are the only charges for which one gets death penalties so we eliminate those three. For the next two, as has been pointed out to me and to which I agree, he COULD have gotten a death penalty. As to why he didn't, my thoughts are that it is because of failure on the part of the prosecution. To both cases, he was proven to have been at the scene of the crime, to have given moral support, to have been involved in planning and to have played a larger part than complicity. Now, for this, a death penalty could have been given out. But the prosecution could neither prove that he himself carried out any crimes at the scene nor that he had given orders for these crimes to be carried out. Three judges, then based on the evidence, unanimously convicted him guilty and handed him life imprisonments. To have given him a death penalty, would have been acceptable, but highly questionable and probably a bit extreme. I apologize for my mistake, but have not made a change in my standpoint of this entire farcical affair and it's fallout.
Also, an update on a statement I made regarding whether the govt. could appeal this conviction. The law ministry has confirmed that it will be proposing an amendment to the ICT act so that they may appeal for a higher sentence.
For more reading in the meanwhile:
Bangladesh War Crimes Blog - British journo David Bergman has been following the trials from start to finish (though has been inactive since Bacchu's verdict). Read more on the witness intimidation and things I mentioned here.
Verdict summary of Kader in the Daily Star - Each case is talked about in detail here.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
I’m tired. It’s 2:23 AM, and I want to sleep. Yet I’m sitting here, writing inane gibberish for absolutely no good reason. I do like blogs. I like how they never completely vanish. They just sit there, tucked away in some desolate, forgotten corner of cyberspace, waiting for its writer/admin/whoever to come back to it. I’m not back by the way. I’m just saying hi. If I post again this month, then maybe consider this a prolonged visit. Like malaria. Which by the way is no laughing matter. Especially with all these annoying mosquitoes all around me. Third world problems and whatnot.
- Dhaka’s evolving, and it’s happening in front of my eyes. There’s so many cool things people my age and slightly older than me are doing in Dhaka. Hell, I’m even trying to be a part of it. And so, would I really be too upset trading in Vassar for the local, Brac University? Mind you, the chance of getting into Vassar is insanely miniscule. And I do know this pretty girl at Brac.
Sunday, 6 May 2012
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
It would seem That Guy has been infected with I-enjoy-sympathy virus. I am sure you have all heard of it. It is this virus in action when the hot girl puts her picture online and then, illogical as it is, suggests that she does not look attractive in it. If we delve into how the body works after being infected by the IES virus, there will be no immediately visible changes. Upon closer inspection however one can begin to notice rather disturbing activity. Like that virus fucking with your cells an’ shit.
Yeah, so That Guy’s cells an’ shit couldn’t take the abuse anymore and decided to deal who we both thought to be no-one a low blow by holding hostage the thing of highest value he could from them. For what? Some comments.
Well, it would be pretty stupid if I posted just to criticize the last post (sorry dude). I mean, I didn’t think there were any readers either, I just didn’t care enough to make a post about it. So here’s some extra crap. Let’s see now …
I’m listening to Rammstein a lot nowadays. Their songs are in German except for some which are sung partly in English (Pussy, Amerika) and one that I know of which is in Spanish (Te Quiero Puta!). They could be classed as Metal or Industrial Rock. I also like Buckethead, he is a guitarist. His songs are simply mind-fucking; check out Planeta. No, seriously, do it now. It is unlikely you will dislike it. If you want to know the names of some good Rammstein songs then ask in comments.
Hmm, what to do now that that space-waster is out of the way? I could talk about anime but since none of you care about that I will put it in a later post so you can ignore it altogether.
Oh, what minor superpower would you like to have? A minor super power is what the name suggests but I will elaborate, for two reasons:
- I still think most of the world is too stupid
- Space waster, hehe, but then again, what isn’t a complete waste of space on this blog? I’ll tell you what; the Cowgirls Comedy Award. Because you don’t have one of those and we take pleasure in your displeasure
So, minor super powers. Something out of the ordinary but probably not something that would inspire you to don a cape or get clothed underwear last, that is assuming you’re a DC follower. No offence though, the only thing Marvel’s got on DC are The X-Men and with every new movie they’re dying. On one hand (of Comic Book Guy presumably) we have Batman who is a rich angry shit. On the other hand, we have Spiderman who is a lucky loser and Thor who is a magic bastard. Wait, Ironman’s a rich fuck too. Does that mean they balance out? Nope, DC’s got Watchmen. Don’t take my opinion too seriously though, the only comics (manga not included) I’ve read are ‘The Sandman’ and ‘Asterix and Obelix’. That Guy’s more into comics than me. How did it get from minor superpowers to this? Evidently I have an attention span as poor as Kenny’s family from South Park so I’ll just put up a poll for you to vote on which minor super powers you want.
Actually, it won't be me putting up the poll, it will be That Guy, so this may take a while ...