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This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The youth of Shahbagh: A Bengali spring?

Dhaka has been witnessing a youth uprising against Islamism in Bangladesh. The UK is also witnessing daily events in solidarity with demands to end to Islamist politics, and punishment for those responsible for war crimes committed during the Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971

Laws of passion: the Shahbag protests

The second verdict handed down by Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal is life imprisonment. Now a death sentence is being demanded in mass protests supported by the ruling regime, with calls for violence that extend into Bangladeshi society. Yet the guilty verdict itself may be a far cry from sound.

A tribunal exposed: leaked correspondence suggests a "disturbing pattern" that risks a miscarriage of justice

The domestic tribunal created to end the culture of impunity following the 1971 independence war continues to lose credibility, victim of partisan politics and judicial corruption. The latest scandal exposed by The Economist reveals the extent to which the project for justice has been compromised.

From transitional justice mechanism to monumental revenge: the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal sinks to new lows

The Bangladeshi International War Crimes Tribunal quickly became a stage for political interference and intimidation. With elections approaching, escalating tactics threaten to condemn the entire pursuit for justice.    

The decline in 'missing women' in Bangladesh

Alarm about the declining ratio of girls to boys in the Indian population, evidence of a particularly lethal form of gender discrimination, has overshadowed the more positive trend that is emerging in neighbouring Bangladesh where the ‘aversion to daughters’ seems to be weakening

For South Asians on the “We are all Malala” bandwagon

Given such levels of violence against girls and women, it is a wonder that so many Indians can feel superior while talking about the Taliban assault in neighbouring Pakistan. It will take more to defeat the Taliban, be they of the Islamic, Hindu or any other variety.

Bangladesh: the forgotten template of 20th century war

In 1971 the Jamaat e Islami supported the Pakistani army against the nationalist Awami League: now their leaders are being indicted by an international crimes tribunal and secularism is back on the agenda. It's time to discuss the forgotten role of the fundamentalist militias in the war of liberation of Bangladesh

Bangladesh : the forgotten template of 20th century war

In 1971 the Jamaat e Islami supported the Pakistani army against the nationalist Awami League: now their leaders are being indicted by an international crimes tribunal and secularism is back on the agenda. It's time to discuss the forgotten role of the fundamentalist militias in the war of liberation of Bangladesh

Throwing Tebbit a Googly: British Hindus and integration

Most British Hindus cheered for their 'mother country' during Sunday's cricket match between England and India, not for the country in which they were born and raised. They failed the 'Tebbit Test', but does it matter? Perhaps a lack of integration into wider British society is not the threat to national cohesion we believe it to be.

'Ascending' nationalism: the failure of politics and climbing Everest in Bangladesh

In the past two years, four young Bangladeshi, including two women, scaled Mount Everest, becoming national heroes. More importantly, these individuals also became powerful political symbols, used on various sides, to disguise the failure of politics in Bangladesh.

Misleading rhetoric post-violence in Assam

The dual threat of losing a homeland and losing all track of the original inhabitants removes all objective considerations from the debate in one fell swoop

Out of view: the unnameable poor in India and Bangladesh

My friends in teaching jobs in Afghanistan and Korea or aid organizations in Bangladesh, nearly all returned to the United States, to ask themselves hard questions about their educational pursuits or their student loans. Suffering offers infinite growth. But faith is like a blanket, only large enough to keep so many children warm. 

Partnership or PR? Chevron in Bangladesh

Chevron are investing in communities and promoting human rights in Bangladesh, claiming that partnership with communities is not just good business practice, but crucial for social progress. But are these real partnerships - publishing what they pay, supporting anti-corruption measures and being accountable?

Bangladesh: journey of fear towards an uncertain future

The two large parties in Bangladesh have already turned to the worst sort of dynastic politics. At the same time, Islamist influences and left wing groups are becoming ever more involved with the dominant political forces. Alongside this, parliament has become totally ineffective

Global political Islam in Bangladesh: past, present and future

As global public attention is turned to Bangladesh and the International Crime Tribunal, the country's complex political situation comes under scrutiny. Both main parties face a growing opposition from militant Islamism which thrives on local discontent as well as on appeals to global jihadism.

Jalal Alamgir, 17 January 1971 – 3 December 2011

The tragic early death of the scholar, consultant, researcher and teacher, has elicited a series of tributes and testimonies to the life of a remarkable man.

Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal: a critique of the critics

While criticism of the ICT is important, its chief critics have dehistoricized the context in which this trial is taking place, and expressed disdain in terms which position Bangladesh as the under-developed, untrustworthy ‘Other’.

Bangladesh war crimes tribunal: further bias is no answer

The role of the media in Bangladesh will not be improved by inaccurate and partisan critiques of the ICT

Trial by media: Bangladesh's 'International' Crimes Tribunal

Phone tapping, court orders and vitriolic condemnations of the accused point to a disconcerting unity between the regime, the press and the ICT

The arrest of Professor Ghulam Azam: a grandchild's account

The arrest of a leading opposition figure in Bangladesh is a stark reminder that without due legal process, examining the wrongs of the past can quickly become an opportunity for political leverage in the present.

Bangladesh: A road map for political disaster

Far from being reconciliatory, the government's International War Crimes Tribunal is tantamount to a witch hunt of the opposition.

India and Afghanistan conclude strategic partnership, further isolating Pakistan

India and Afghanistan sign a strategic partnership agreement during Karzai's visit to New Delhi. Nepal's new prime minister says constitution to be drafted by November. Pakistan reiterates support to China in fighting terrorism, and a Bangladeshi war tribunal files its first charges. All this in today's security briefing...

India and Bangladesh boost ties, yet challenges remain

Underlining a sea change in their relationship, India and Bangladesh foster ties during prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka. Turkey-Israel relations reach a new low as Ankara suspends defence industry relations. US and Pakistan praise arrest of al-Qaeda operatives in Quetta while Tuareg fighters in Libya are asked to rally with new leaders. All this in today's security briefing...

Thai military accepts Pheu Thai victory at the general election

Thailand’s military accept the victory of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s political party. Security situation in Bangladesh deteriorates after the caretaker government system is abolished. Pakistani defense minister asks the United States to leave Shamsi Airbase as the US shifts key supply routes through Pakistan to central Asia. Turkish Prime Minister visits Libyan opposition groups in Benghazi. All in today’s security briefing.

Bangladesh: a state of impunity

A land whose citizens suffer injustice and cruelty without protection from law or state needs attention, says Delwar Hussain.

UK government linked to Bangladeshi 'death squad' renowned for use of torture

UK government linked to Bangladeshi 'death squad', renowned for use of torture. Eight arrested over mass rape in eastern DRC. The UN votes to increase peacekeepers in Ivory Coast as mediation fails. Nigerian troops ordered to shoot-to-kill in Jos as violence increases ahead of elections. All this and more in today’s briefing...

A free media: Tasneem Khalil’s project

The work of a Bangladeshi journalist offers a different perspective on some of the professional and ethical dilemmas raised by the WikiLeaks project, say Timothy Sowula & David Hayes.

Wikileaks release 90,000 documents relating to war in Afghanistan

US condemns release of tens of thousands of classified Afghan war documents. Duch, Pol Pot’s infamous prison chief, is jailed for 19 years. Tehran reacts angrily to further EU sanctions on Iran. Bangladeshi war crimes court issues first arrest warrants. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Boycott of Burmese elections draws criticism

NLD boycott of Burmese elections draws strong criticism. Suspected coup attempt in Guinea Bissau. Sudan opposition pullout throws elections into doubt. ICC to probe Kenya post-election violence. Bangladesh to commence trial of 1971 war crimes. All this and more in today's update.

Bangladesh erupts in ethnic violence

Bangladesh has been rocked by the recent flaring up of decades old ethnic tensions, as Bengali settlers set fire to hundreds of indigenous homes. Pinaki Roy reports from Dhaka on the latest developments and explores the background to the violence

Ethnic riots provoke arson in Bangladesh's troubled Chittagong Hill Tracts

Chittagong Hill Tracts shaken by riots and arson. India and Pakistan take steps to rebuild their relationship. Niger leaders rule themselves out of elections. Darfur rebels contradict president’s claim that the war is over. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Bangladesh government accused of crackdown on Burmese refugees

Bangladesh accused of crackdown on Burmese refugees. Obama meets the Dalai Lama despite Chinese criticism; Maoists kills ten in Bihar. Protests rock Ivory Coast as president dissolves the government. Taliban running low on ammo in sixth day of Operation Moshtarak. Rumours of a coup attempt in Niger. All this and much more in today’s briefing.

Bangladesh: a quest for justice

The search for accountability for the genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 needs international support, say Jalal Alamgir & Tazreena Sajjad.

Hizbollah prepares for war

Hizbollah upgrades its military capability as Israel is accused of assassinating a senior Hamas commander. indigenous leaders are attacked in Bangladesh. Obama approves arms sales to Taiwan. The US Senate backs tougher sanctions against Iran. All this and more in today’s security update.

World leaders debate the future of Afghanistan

World leaders debate the future of Afghanistan at London summit. Bangladesh executes independence leader’s killers. Honduras’ Zelaya goes into exile. The international community unites to tackle al-Qaeda in Yemen. All this and more in today’s security briefing.
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