Monday, October 7, 2013

Momena testimony to the international crimes tribunal

This posting is linked to this

This is the translation of the testimony which the witness Momena Begum gave in July 2012 to the International Crimes Tribunal in relation to the massacre of her family on 26 March 1971. It is the evidence-in-chief (given to the prosecution) and does not include the cross examination (by the defence).

The translation has been independently checked for accuracy.

On 17 September 2013, the appellate division imposed the death sentence in relation to this offense.

This statement is linked to the annotated version of an article (originally published in New Age) which can be found here.
International Crime Tribunal-02 of 2012
ICT-BD-Case No.-02 of 2012
The Prosecutor Vs Abdul Quader Molla

Dated- 17. 07. 2012

My name is Momena Begum. Husband’s name is Habibur Rahman. I was 12/ 13 years old during the liberation war. We were 4 sisters and 1 brother. I am older of all my brother and sisters. My father’s name is Hazrot Ali Loshkor. My father was a tailor. He supported Awami League and had fondness for Bongobondhu. My father used to go on the procession and used to paste Awami League’s (Boat Sign) posters on wall. He sloganed for Joy Bangla in those procession. My mother’s name is Amina Begum. She was a housewife. My mother was pregnant at 26th March in 1971. We lived then section 12 at lane 5 in house 21, Kalapani.

The occurrence occurred before dusk on 26th March in 1971. My father was running towards home and said “Qader Molla will kill me.” The Biharis along with Akter Gunda and Pak army were also coming behind him to kill my father. My father entered into the house and closed the door. Everybody was in house then. My father told us to hide under the Khat (bed). I along with my [sister] Amena hid under there. The Biharis along with Quader Molla came in front of the door and told “Hey ...bastard , Open the door or we will throw bomb”. They threw a bomb then. My mother opened the door with a Da (local arms) in her hand. They shot my mother after opening the door. Quader Molla pulled the collar of my father’s shirt when he went to catch my mother and told “Hey son of Swine, Will you do Awami League now? Will you go with Bongobondhu? Will you go to procession? Will you slogan for Joy Bangla?” My father apologized to him and said “Brother Quader, Let me leave”. My father said to Akter Gunda “Brother Akter, Let me leave”. They dragged my father forcefully out and slaughtered my mother (The witness was weeping). They slaughtered my sister Khodeza and Taslima. They killed my brother Babu, who was 2 years old by forcefully dragging him. He was crying to call our mother. Amena shouted on hearing his crying. They pulled Amena after her shouting and tore apart her dress and started to rape her. Amena was crying loudly then and stopped at one stage (Witness started to weep and became senseless). It was approximately at dusk, they started to prick me at one stage searching for anybody else. Once they pricked at my left leg. I became wounded seriously. They pulled me after pricking me, which was when I became unconscious. It was night when I came to my senses. I couldn’t walk as I felt pain in my abdomen and my pants were wet. I felt great pain in my abdomen. I wore a pants which was torn apart. I went to Fakirbari then slowly. I said to Fakirbari “Mother or father open the door”. They opened the door and saw me wearing a wet and bloody dress. They also saw my pants were split. They tied my wound and gave me long pants to wear. They arranged treatment for me at the next day and gave me medicine. I had been married in my childhood but i was not taken to my husband’s house. The people of Fakirbari asked me about my house and my husband’s house and my husband. They sent message to my father in law’s house and my father in law brought me with him. They arranged treatment for me and my mother in law kept me in her arms. I moved to and throw like a mad person when my parents in law kept me in their embrace. Mirpur was not independent although Bangladesh became independent. I used to go searching for my parent’s dead body by taking permission slip from technical. I couldn’t find anybody in our house except bad smell. They killed many people there. One Kamal Khan who served tea to the freedom fighters told me that “Quader Molla killed my parents”. My Ukil Baba [marriage witness] Akkas Molla also told me same as Kamal Khan. I used to pray to Allah to make justice to Quader Molla. I was insane 3 years after independence when I used to be tied with chain sometimes. I can’t forget my parents, brother and sisters being killed in front of my eyes. I was almost insane for this. I am dead although i am alive. I want justice. She identified Quader Molla in dock and said that “He was young and not aged enough then. He used to wear Panjabi then. I want to ask him where my father is. The investigation officer of this case also interrogated me.

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