Bangladesh's rising voices

War crimes protests heat up across the nation.

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  1. For two weeks, Bangladesh has seen a wave of protests. Hundreds of thousands of people - musicians, activists, and even the national cricket team - have taken part. The main rallies have been nicknamed 'Shahbag' after the area in the capital Dhaka where people are gathering. 
  2. The protests are in reaction to the sentencing of Abdul Qader Molla, a leader of the Islamist Jamaat-e Islami opposition party, who was handed a life sentence for crimes connected to the 1971 war for independence from Pakistan. They think Molla should have gotten the death penalty.
  3. The protests were initially organised by the Bloggers and Online Activists Network, whose Facebook page is pictured below.
  4. Bangladesh FB event that started it all
  5. Bangladeshi bloggers and online activists. Feb 6. EPA
  6. Although protesters are using Facebook to organise rallies, Twitter is being used as a way to call attention to the Shahbag movement internationally.
  7. The video below encourages netizens to join the protest in Shahbag.
  8. Shahbag Protest: the calling
  9. Women are also turning out in large numbers at Shahbag, which is also known as Projonmo Chattar, or 'New Generation Platform'.
  10. bangladeshi women chanting peaceful slogans

  11. In the video below, one of the most famous female activists, Lucky Akter, leads the chanting.
  12. The supporters of Molla's party, Jamaat-e Islami, staged counter-demonstrations against his sentencing. They are calling for the release of Molla and his co-defendants. 
  13. Jamaat Islami and Chhatra Shibir. Motijhil, Dhaka. Feb 4. EPA
  14. The youth branch of Jamaat-e Islam, Chhatra Shibir, also participated in the rallies. 
  15. Jamaat Islami and Chhatra Shibir. Feb 4. EPA
  16. Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker reported on both sides' continuing protests from Bangladesh.