Government to amend law to prosecute Jamaat: justice minister

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Justice Minister Anisul Haque indicated the amendment of the International Crimes (Courts) Act to prosecute Jamaat-e-Islami as an organization for committing war crimes during the independence war in 1971.

“The amendment to the law will soon be discussed in the national parliament,” he said, answering journalists’ questions after a training workshop at the Judicial Administration Training Institute (JATI ) in the capital on Thursday.

The justice minister also said the government would monitor how the Electoral Commission handles the Jamaat-e-Islami’s appeal for registration under a different name.

He made the remarks after learning that all the leaders of the newly formed Bangladesh Democratic Party applying for EC registration were from the Jamaat and its student wing Chhatra Shibir.

In response to another question, Anisul Haque said there was no possibility that BNP chairwoman Khaleda Zia would be sent back to prison before the national elections.

The government is not considering changing his conditional release under Article 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he added.

Regarding Jamaat’s trial, the Minister of Justice said that the government is committed to prosecuting those who committed war crimes in 1971. Many judgments have already been carried out.

“I said a long time ago that we needed changes in the law to continue the trial against Jamaat-e-Islami as a war crimes organization and we have already sent the amendment to the cabinet division “We will pass a law in this regard in a few days. Then the legal proceedings will begin,” he added.

In 2018, the EC canceled the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami, making it clear that the party will not be able to participate in the next national elections. Earlier in 2013, the High Court declared the Jamaat’s registration with the EC illegal.

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