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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

War crimes and international borders

After war, justice may come late or not at all: the decision to try defendants without them being present suggests the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal is not confident of gaining an extradition order. 

Professor Ghulam Azam: a flawed conviction and miscarriage of justice

On the basis of a flawed trial bereft of substantial evidence, my father has now been sentenced to 90 years in prison. The Bangladeshi people must decide whether justice for crimes past is really being acheived for a better, more cohesive Bangladesh.

Backlash against Bangladeshi bloggers

The bloggers of Shahbagh are facing a backlash – hunted by fundamentalists, denounced in mosques as atheists, arrested by the government. Those abroad are under threat. Meanwhile activists are still demanding justice and cyber movements are using their mobilising power to deal with disasters.

Religion and after: Bangladeshi identity since 1971

Secularism was one of the cornerstones of Bengali nationalism, but its spirit was enforced only by pen and paper. How can demands to ban religion from politics be satisfied?

Bangladesh justice: damned if you do, damned if you don't

"One must ask what is the point in a trial where the only acceptable result is execution": have politics irreversibly stolen fair and impartial justice from the victims of the 1971 War of Liberation?

Free speech and Bangladesh's growing climate of fear

The latest conviction and death sentence handed down by the ICT has already sparked further protests. As the state-sponsored clampdown on the press quickly grows to encompass anyone willing to speak out, what does this mean for demands for accountability?

Shahbagh: what revolution, whose revolution?

The protests in Shahbagh errupted apparently spontaneously in response to the first verdict handed down by Bangladesh's domestic tribunal for war crimes committed during the war of independence in 1971. The primary demand? The death sentence.

The Bangla Language Movement and Ghulam Azam

As the world celebrates International Mother Language Day in memory of the Bangla Language Movement, Bangladeshis at Shabagh would do well to understand one of its forgotten language soldiers.

Towards partisan politics: #Shahbag and the politics of revenge

Protests at Shahbag that call for the death penalty for Abdul Quader Mollah have been hailed as a move beyond 'partisan politics' in the spirit of the Arab Spring. Clear government backing puts this, and the nature of the justice being meted out, in doubt.

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.

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.    

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.

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