Condemned war criminal celebrates anticipated release


Sitting inside the condemned cell of Kashimpur Central Jail (Part-1) in Bangladesh, a death row inmate and a convicted war criminal named Mobarak Hossain, son of Shahadat Hossain, Condemned prisoner number 7573/A, is in jubilant mood, who reportedly is distributing sweets and biryani amongst the fellow prisoners and been openly proclaiming that he has been given assurance by an influential minister that immediately after the January 7 general election, Mubarak shall be a free man.

This shocking revelation has sparked concerns and raised questions as to whether the only qualification of war criminal Mobarak Hossain is – he is a former leader of the ruling Awami League, that grants him total impunity. Mubarak’s purported festivities and the implications it may have on justice, accountability and Awami League government’s sincerity about showing zero tolerance towards the war criminals.

According to media reports, Mobarak Hossain was sentenced to death on November 24, 2014 by the International Crimes Tribunal-1 for his role as the commander of the Razakar mercenary force which was formed by the Pakistani occupation forces during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

As the High Court Division has earlier upheld the death penalty of Mobarak Hussain, now his final fate remains onto the decision of the Appellate Division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court. At this junction, it is truly stunning that an influential minister has given him assurance of getting acquitted by the apex court.

Mubarak Hussain, once associated with the Awami League, faced charges related to war crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War. The International Crimes Tribunal-1, comprising Justice M Inayatura Rahim, Justice Jahangir Hussain, and Justice Anwarul Haque, delivered its verdict on November 24, 2014. The judgment found Mubarak guilty of two out of five charges, sentencing him to death in one case and life imprisonment in the other.

During the Liberation War, Mobarak served as the commander of the Razakar mercenary force in Akhaura area under Brahmanbaria district. The charges against him included murder, kidnapping, and collaboration with the Pakistani occupation forces. The court established that Mobarak was directly involved in the crimes associated with charges No. 1 and 3. The verdict highlighted witness statements that confirmed Mubarak’s active participation in acts of violence, solidifying his reputation as a Razakar in the region.

Several theories have emerged to explain Mobarak’s alleged celebrations inside prison. One speculation is rooted in his past association with the Awami League. Some believe that he may anticipate a change in political fortunes, speculating that the Awami League, if it forms the government for the fourth consecutive term in 2024, could influence his release from the execution order. However, this remains speculative and lacks concrete evidence.

Another theory questions whether Mobarak is celebrating with the direct support or at the instigation of prison authorities. The involvement of prison officials in such celebrations would raise serious concerns about the integrity of the justice system and adherence to the rule of law.

The tribunal’s decision to sentence Mobarak Hossain to death in one case and life imprisonment in another was based on the proven charges related to his role in terrorizing the Akhaura region during the Liberation War. However, Mobarak was acquitted of charges 2, 4, and 5 due to the prosecution’s inability to establish his involvement in those specific crimes.

The judges noted in their observation that witness statements supported Mubarak’s direct involvement in the crimes associated with charges No. 1 and 3, reinforcing his notorious reputation as a Razakar commander during the war.

The narratives surrounding Mobarak Hussain’s alleged festivities within the prison underscore the need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his purported release. As the nation grapples with the complexities of justice and historical accountability, it is imperative to ensure that the principles of justice and the rule of law prevail, preserving the dignity of those who suffered during the tumultuous events of 1971.


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