Sosyal Medya


Who Was Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Bangladeshi Preacher Who Died in Prison?

Ibnul Ammar

Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi is a well-renowned Islamic preacher and the vice president of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He was born on 2 February 1940. After completing his Kamel (master) degree from Sarsina Alia Madrasa in 1962, he spent almost five years gaining knowledge on language, religion, philosophy, science, politics, economics, foreign policy, human science, and others. From 1967 onward, he dedicated himself as ‘Dayee Ilallah’. For almost 50 years, he delivered public speeches and spread the word of Islam among the people in different places in Bangladesh. Thousands of people converted to Islam from other different religions after listening to the speeches of Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi.
Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi joined Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami in 1979 and became a member (Rukon) of the party in 1982. In 1989, he was elected the Shura member of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He was also elected as a member of parliament for the session between 1996-2001 and 2001-2006. In 2010, he was appointed as the vice president of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. Like other top leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi was also oppressed and tortured by the current secular regime of Bangladesh. As part of this, he was arrested by the regime on 29 June 2010 along with other top Jamaat leaders, including the president of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Maulana Motiour Rahman Nizami, and the party secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujaheed, because of a charge filing charge on hearting religious sentiments. Although they were bailed out the next day, they were again charged with other cases, including violence, vandalism, and other political issues. For that, they were kept under interrogation and put into remand for almost a month. While they started getting bail from all those political cases, they filed charges of committing genocide, rape, and mass during the liberation war in 1971 along with three other Jamaat leaders, including two assistant secretary generals, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Qader Mollo and another central leader Mir Qasem Ali. 
The International Crime Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh, where the Jamaat leaders were interrogated for war crimes in the 1971 liberation war, was mainly established to interrogate the Pakistani Army and their local collaborators who committed crimes during the liberation war. However, none of these Jamaat leaders were charged with war crimes at that time. Besides, the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, pardoned and sent them back to Pakistan after signing a peace treaty known as the Shimla treaty on 2 July 1972. After that, the issue of war crimes during the liberation was supposed to be settled. However, the current secular regime Bangladesh Awami League again reopened this International Crime Tribunal (ICT) once they again came to power in 2009 and arranged charges for war crimes during the liberation war against these Jamaat leaders after 38 years.
There are many controversies about The International Crime Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh, which was reopened by the Awami regime after it came to power in 2009. Several international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, frequently criticized the tribunal because of its lack of transparency. In fact, Skype conversations and emails between the head of the International Crime Tribunal (ICT), Mohammad Nizamul Huq and a Bangladeshi lawyer based in Brussels were leaked where 17 hours of conversation between 28 August and 20 October 2012 and more than 230 emails between September 2011 and September 2012 were disclosed in ‘the Economist’, and later it was published in a Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Amar Desh’. All these Skype conversations and emails showed how the conspiracies were made on fabricating Jamaat leaders for committing war crimes during the liberation war and executing them through judicial killing. These Skype conversations and emails showed how all the cases were filed against these Jamaat leaders and how the plan for executing them through judicial killing was made. Although the head of ICT, Mohammad Nizamul Huq resigned on 11 December 2012 because of leaking all these Skype conversations and emails, the government kept this tribunal open. It continued interrogating Jamaat leaders and executed them through the tribunal.
Although Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi is a leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, he has lots of fans from outside the party and even from other political parties because of his beautiful voice and speeches. For this reason, all his fans from both inside and outside the party started protests and riots immediately after he was given a death sentence by the International Crime Tribunal (ICT) Bangladesh. Later, his lawyer made an appeal to the Supreme Court against this verdict, and in September 2014, the verdict was changed from death sentence to lifetime imprisonment. As Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi had heart disease, he had to be taken to the hospital for a medical checkup from time to time. On 14 August 2023, he was admitted to the hospital in the morning because of suffering chest pains. Later, he died on the same day in the evening at 20:40. Allama Delawar Hossain Sayedee was 83 years old at the time of his death. The medical authority claimed that he had a heart attack. 
Not only Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayeedi but some other Jamaat leaders also died in prison while they were interrogated in the tribunal. For instance, the former president of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Professor Ghulam Azam, who was given 90 years imprisonment by the tribunal, died on 23 October 2014 at the age of 91 after he was admitted to the hospital for medical treatment. Maulana Abul Kalam Muhammad Yusuf, who was the deputy president of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, died on 9 February 2014 at the age of 87 while he was interrogated for war crimes in the ICT. Another vice president of Bangladesh, Jamaat-e-Islami Maulana Abdus Sobhan, died on 14 February 2020 at the age of 83 while he was admitted to the hospital for medical treatment. He was also under arrest and was given a death sentence by the ICT. His lawyer filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against the death sentence, and he died while the appeal process was ongoing. And lastly, Maulana Delawar Hossain Sayedee died because of a heart attack on 14 August 2023 at the age of 83 during the time of his admission to the hospital for medical treatment. All these Jamaat leaders’ families and lawyers frequently complained about the irregularities of their medical treatment by the jail authority. 

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