The incident occurred in the capital's Holey Artisan Bakery Café in 2016 leaving scores of people dead, including many Italians. The accused shouted “Allahu Akbar” when the sentence was read. Death sentences are carried out by hanging.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – This morning Bangladesh’s special anti-terrorism court sentenced to death seven of the eight Islamist militants on trial for the deadly attack against the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka on 1 July 2016.
During the reading of the sentence, the accused screamed at Judge Md Majibur Rahman and shouted slogans in favour of an Islamic State.
The men were arrested during investigations into Islamic extremism and charged in July 2018. All seven will all be hanged.
During the over-night siege of the café, a favourite hangout for foreigners in the affluent district of Gulshan, home to several embassies, 29 people were killed: 17 foreigners, especially Italians (picture 2), five Bangladeshi civilians, two Bangladeshi police and the five gunmen who carried out the attack, and two police officers.
The accused are: Rashidul Islam, aka Ryash, planner; Jahangir Alam, aka Rajib Gandhi, recruiter; Sohel Mahfuz, grenade supplier; Rakibul Hasan Regan, religious "trainer"; Hadisur Rahman Sagor, weapons supplier; Mamunur Rashid Ripon and Shariful Islam Khaled. Mizanur Rahman, aka Baro Mizan, is the only one acquitted of the charges (picture 3).
The attack against the Dhaka café was the worst terrorist incident in Bangladesh’s history. It brought home the reality that extremism is alive and well in a country characterised largely until then by harmony and peaceful coexistence.
In the courtroom, some of the defendants praised the Islamic holy war, shouting Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) as a battle cry. Their defence lawyers announced plans to appeal the verdict. One of them, Delwer Hossain, said in front of the cameras that the defendants were denied justice.
Shamsuzzaman Shams, the brother of one of the victims, was instead satisfied with the outcome. "We are happy,” he said, “because the people of Bangladesh do not want a country with terrorism. Those who took the wrong path of militancy can return to the right path. We are happy that justice was done.”
(Photo credit: Dhaka Tribune)