Ali Ahmad Mabrur - Bangladesh
November 21, 8pm. I was at our lawyer’s chamber at Purana Paltan in Dhaka while the rest of my family members were at our Uttara residence. It was then that I received a call from home that our family has been instructed to visit our father for the last time. Deputy Jailer Mrs. Shirin has phoned and asked my eldest brother to go to the jail along with the family and nearest relatives before 9 pm. I told my family that I was already close to the jail area and should reach their very soon; the rest of the family should make their way promptly. I informed leaders of our party and tried to get any last message for my father. I informed our lawyers as well. Finally I made Wudu and left for the jail.
Altogether some 25 family members and relatives went to the jail on that day for the final adieu. We arrived there at 11 pm. After completing the security and checking procedures, we finally reached the condemned-cell, ‘Rajani Gondha’ at 11:20 pm. My father is in the rightmost room number 8. Before him, two of our previous martyrs, Shaheed Abdul Quader Mollah and Shaheed Muhammad Qamaruzzaman, were in that same room. Our visits to my father during last few months were held in that same place.
One of my father’s grandsons together with my mother and sister went to the cell first. Then I took rest of my family with me. I had thought that since so many of our family members were going to visit him for the last time he must have been expecting us eagerly. But we could not find him anywhere in his room or in the corridor outside his room. After some time we discovered him asleep inside his room. He was in a deep sleep in his usual position, on his right side placing his head on his right palm. There was no blanket, and he was sleeping on the prayer mat on the floor in his tiny room. There was no pillow either. We called him for several times but he did not respond for some time. It must have been a very deep sleep. After some more calling out he woke up looking a bit surprised, and when he recognized us he said, “So you have come! Why so late in the night? Have you been called in by the jail authority? Is this the final meeting?” By then he sat up and continued saying, “The jail authority has not said anything to me. Tawakkaltu ala Allah!” He remained sitting for some time. It seemed that he was organizing his thoughts and praying to Allah in his mind to give us his guidance.
We replied to him, “Yes our father, we have come to visit our honorable and prestigious father, destined to be a martyr shortly. We have come to our pride.” My sister said, “We have come to our great and dignified father. They called us to visit you for the final time.” He (Shaheed Mujahid), remained sitting for some time, and listened to us silently. My mother called him to come closer to us. He replied, “OK, Alhamdulillah.”
He stood up after a while. He was wearing a turquoise t-shirt and a white striped pyjama. He searched for his sandals initially, and after wearing them came towards us. He enquired, “How many of you have come? Let me see all of you.” At that time the light was very dim and there was a net on the steel door, so we could not see inside of his room very clearly. My eldest brother opened the net door with the permission of the jail authority. They allowed him to do so as there is another iron made door which was locked. First the family members gave him (Shaheed Mujahid) salaam, then other relatives. My eldest brother was introducing each of us, but my father replied, ‘Wait, let me see, too.” Each of us was introducing ourselves in turn, and my father started to shake hands with each member through the window grills. He enquired about personal affairs of each of the individuals. Everyone touched his hands and some of them kissed his hands through the grills of the window. Finally he asked, “Have I left anyone out from shaking hands?”
Then I started a short introductory speech. I said, “Our beloved father, you are on your way to becoming a martyr. With this you will have honored yourself and our family in this world and in the hereafter. You have honored us in this life, and you will do so in the afterlife, too. So, please do not worry at all. Your late father and our grandfather had given you in the way of Allah when you were just a teenager. You were given by your father as an endowment for the cause of Allah. I believe such a person is going to meet the perfect ending tonight. After spending your whole student life, youth, mid-life, everything for the cause of Islam, now you are going to die for the sake of struggling to establish Allah’s Deen. Your father will be the happiest person with your martyrdom. Because, you are going from this world after spending your whole life in the way of Allah as your father had wished.”
My father responded by saying “Alhamdulillah.” Then he said, “May you be informed that till now the jail authority has not informed me about the fact that they are going to execute me tonight. What an injustice!” At that point the atmosphere was getting emotional, but my father calmed us down saying that “there is no need for tears. Let me say a few words.”
He started in his usual bold deep voice, raising his head up high like his usual public speaking mode, and said, “Nahmaduhu wa nusalli ala rasulihil kareem. Alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen. Assalatu wassalamu ala saiyedil mursaleen. wa ala ahlihi wa sahbihi ajmaeen. Amma ba’d. All praise be to Allah. I appreciate that the jail authority has facilitated this meeting. To be honest, the jail authority is powerless. They have shown good respect towards me according to best of their abilities throughout. They behaved well with me. They kept continuously pleading with me to write a written application to the President and said that they would be in trouble if I don't write such an application. At one point they told me to write whatever I wished. For this reason only I have written an application for their sake, even though I understood the full consequence of doing so.”
I asked him, “What did you exactly write in that letter, our father?”
He said in response, “I wrote to the President that, in addition to the ICT Act being illegal and contradictory with the constitution; moreover, during the trial process I was given very limited opportunity to defend myself. The CrPC (Code of Criminal procedure) and the Evidence Act were not applicable in my case. My constitutionally ensured fundamental rights were suspended as well.
The tribunal did not give me death penalty on charge 6 on its own. They merged charge 1 into charge 6 and sentenced death penalty based on combined charges. The appellate division has acquitted me from charge 1, but upheld death penalty for charge 6. But the tribunal did not give me death penalty on this charge separately.
The prosecution presented only one witness to prove this charge. That witness never claimed that I had killed any intellectuals. No member of any intellectual family ever claimed that I killed any intellectuals. After the declaration of the verdict in my case, no family member of the intellectuals said that they have got justice for their father’s death. The prosecution alleged that I had hold meetings with army officers. But the witness could not say when and where I hold those meetings. The witness claimed that he saw me together with Maulana Nizami and Professor Ghulam Azam. But he never knew us, only heard our names afterwards. However, this same charge was not produced against Professor Ghulam Azam. While, Maulana Nizami was given life imprisonment for this charge. Only I was given the death sentence! I am certain that the government initiated the trial procedure against me after they had already confirmed a death sentence against me; all these trials were just a farce.
In order to humiliate me and prove me as a coward to my family, my party and my countrymen, the government staged this false drama of mercy petition throughout the day against me. There is no question of seeking mercy from this tyrannical and repressive government [At this point there was anger in his voice]. I am totally innocent, innocent, and innocent. They are going to kill us today unjustly.”
[The government tried to convince Shaheed Ali Ahsan Mujahid to seek mercy from the President accepting his guilt. But he refused to do so. Previously, the government’s attempt to convince 2 other martyrs of his party to do the same went in vain and as a result they were executed too. Realizing that these executions are not taking the government anywhere, and they have failed to eliminate Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami even after executing its top leaders and subjecting its members to unprecedented torture and oppression, the government this time again tried to stage a drama, by falsely claiming that Shaheed Mujahid asked for mercy from the President. In this way, the government tried to humiliate him and his party to the nation. But very soon the truth came out. Shaheed Mujahid remained steadfast and maintained his innocence to the last moment of his life like his shaheed colleagues before]”
[Shaheed Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was the Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, who was executed by the tyrannical regime of Bangladesh on 21 November 2015 at 12:55 am. This is the account of his last meeting with his family and relatives in Dhaka Central Jail, written by his family members and collated by his youngest son Ali Ahmad Mabrur. About 20 minutes after this meeting, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid became a martyr]
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