Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Prevously Unpubshished Draft From the Blogfiles of Dhaka circa 2013

Tonight is a very, very strange night.  We are waiting to find out if the first or one of the first war crimes persons gets executed at one minute past midnight through a war crimes tribunal.  His name is Abdul Quader Molla.  It is eerily quiet except for a car or siren here or there, which is the norm as of late. Normally there are parties, horns blasting, rickshaw bells ringing, but tonight you can just feel it.  It is a first for this country to hold a war crimes criminal accountable.  The most surprising part about it all is that is was announced a couple of hours ago that he will be hanged at a minute past midnight all of a sudden.  He was found guilty for war crimes in a controversial trial several months ago and given life in prison.  After Shahbagh staged a huge multi-week protest against the "life in prison" verdict, he then along with his lawyers did the equivalent of an appeal and he then ended up with "death".  How you can appeal a verdict and end up with a verdict worse than what you had originally been handed is beyond me, but it happened.  So now it is 90 minutes from when Qadar Molla is to be executed by hanging here in Bangladesh.  I have only lived here for two years, so this is new to me.  I know that people are executed many times over in the U.S. and other countries, however this person's execution is particularly ominous.  The UN Envoy has been here for several days trying to get both sides of the political party to come to some agreement in order to hold fair and free elections and he even extended his stay.  As I type this I got some information that the execution is delayed to around 10:30 am.