Rally Outside Egypt Foreign Ministry Protests Execution of Bangladesh Islamic Movement Leaders

Rally Outside Egypt Foreign Ministry Protests Execution of Bangladesh Islamic Movement Leaders

Dozens of members of the Bangladeshi community in Egypt and their supporters organized a rally outside Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo Wednesday to protest human rights violations against the Islamic movement in Bangladesh, from persecution, imprisonment, torture, murder and extermination to death sentences handed to leaders of the movement there.

Protesters chanted slogans like "No to execution of scholars", "Down down with death penalty" and "Down down with invalid verdicts".

Demonstrators also carried placards that read "Forty-thousand Detainees in Bangladesh Prisons", "Current Secular Government Anti-Islamic", and "Execution Awaits Senior Religious Scholars".

Other protesters carried placards saying "Save Humanity in Bangladesh, Release Saidi", referring to renowned preacher Delwar Hussein Saidi, who was sentenced to death by a special ‘exceptional’ court set up by the current government to exterminate the Islamic group "Jamaat-e-Islami" in Bangladesh, which shares Muslim Brotherhood thought and message.

The protest comes after a special court issued verdicts against three scholars and leaders of the Islamic movement in Bangladesh: Delwar Hussein Saidi, Abul Kalam Azad (who was sentenced to death) and Abdul Qadir Mullah (sentenced to life imprisonment), on false charges of war crimes supposedly dating back to 1971 – charges categorically denied by the Islamists and their group.

The current secular government stands accused of extreme pro-India policies, setting up exceptional courts for politically-weighted trials, for the purpose of removing all manifestations of Islam throughout the country, efforts which have already included deleting articles from the Constitution that referred to religion and relations with Muslim countries.

Shah Alam, representative of the Foundation for Defense of Bangladeshi Imams and Scholars in Cairo, stressed that a large number of Egyptians and other activists and supporters of those sentenced to death and the detainees issue participated in the Wednesday rally.

"Their most important demands are to stop these politically-motivated trials and halt persecution of Muslim scholars and imams.

"The death toll in demonstrations against the trials has so far reached 140 people. There are 40,000 prisoners and 10,000 others are being hunted – cannot stay in their homes. Some 500 preachers and imams spoke in their Friday ceremony speeches rejecting those trials and urging a halt to all proceedings."