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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

British Muslim community leader indicted for genocide in Bangladesh

A respected British Muslim community leader has been indicted in Bangladesh for genocide and crimes against humanity for his role during the 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin is a former journalist and member of a number of community organizations, including Muslim Spiritual Care Provision of the NHS, Muslim Aid and the East London Mosque.

Mr Mueen-Uddin is said to have been a member of the pro-Pakistan paramilitary force 'Al Badr', which is accused of widespread atrocities against the Bengali nationalist movement, including the killing of numerous Bengali intellectuals.

Along with another alleged Al Badr member - US citizen Ashrafuzzaman Khan - Mueen-Uddin is charged with the killing of at least 18 pro-independence activists in December 1971.

His lawyers have rejected all the allegations against him.

They say that none of the accusations have ever been formally put to him and there has been no attempt to question him.

State prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told the AFP news agency that he "has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide".

On Thursday the International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka issued an arrest warrant for Mr Mueen-Uddin, who fled Bangladesh for the UK at the end of 1971.

The number of people killing in the 1971 war between East and West Pakistan remains unknown.
Bangladesh says up to three million people died, mostly in massacres by the Pakistan army and their local Islamist allies, the Razakar and Al-Badr forces.

If convicted, Mr Mueen-Uddin could face the death penalty although under British Law, no-one can be extradited if they face capital punishment.

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