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British Muslim faces war crimes charges in Bangladesh

United Kingdom,Immigration/Law/Rights, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 16 (IANS) A top Muslim activist in Britain -- a former Bangladeshi citizen -- has been accused of involvement in the abduction and murder of intellectuals during Bangladesh's struggle for independence in the 1970s.


Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, director of Muslim spiritual care provision in Britain's National Health Service (NHS) and a trustee of the charity Muslim Aid, has denied all charges, but faces the death penalty if convicted, the Daily Mail reported.


Mueen-Uddin moved to Britain from Bangladesh in the 1970s and has since become a British citizen.


In 1989, he took part in protests against Salman Rushdie's controversial book, "The Satanic Verses".


Before he moved to Britain, Mueen-Uddin was a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a fundamentalist party that supported Pakistan during Bangladesh's fight for independence.


As Pakistan lost the war, many prominent Bangladeshi citizens and intellectuals were rounded up and killed by a militia.


Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, chief investigator for Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal, said he has evidence of Mureen-Uddin's involvement in the militia.


"There is prima facie evidence of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin being involved in a series of killings of intellectuals. We have made substantial progress in the case against him. There is no chance that he will not be indicted and prosecuted. We expect charges in June," Khan said.


The evidence includes the testimony of the widows of those who disappeared.


Mueen-Uddin said the charges were politically motivated.


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