Controversial Role of David Bergman and Collaborators against Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit
Sheikh Hasina was elected president of Awami League in her absence in the party’s national council held in February 1981 while she was abroad. She has taken the steering of the Awami League President as a symbol of unity in the worst of times. She brought Awami League to power as a popular party after 21 years in 1996 and has been working tirelessly to institutionalize democracy in Bangladesh. The impossible task that Sheikh Hasina made possible by forming the government in 1996 was to bring the killers of her family to justice and later in 2010 to bring the war criminals to justice. And the opportunity came to carry forward the ideology of the Bengali nation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina always vowed to build Bangladesh as “Sonar Bangla” shortly as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to ensure a better and decent life for the people of the country. Bangladesh will have to march forward further to establish itself as a hunger- and poverty-free and developed country as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.
The International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh was re-established in 2010 to hold the perpetrators of the 1971 War accountable for international crimes; namely, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Trial has begun to operate and has been dealing with various challenges. The basis of the trial proceedings was the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973. The Parliament of Bangladesh enacted the Act following international law shortly after the War. This paper assesses the key legal issues that arise from the context of the 1973 Act.
The tribunal starts its official journey with the first hearing of Justice A T M Fazle Kabir and Justice A K M Zahir Ahmed, led by Justice Md. Nizamul Huq, the Chairman of the tribunal directed the hearing of the International Crimes Court in the old high court building at Dhaka.
David Bergman, an agent for war criminals carried out negative propaganda in the guise of free journalism and he was specially appointed for this. He is the son-in-law who is one of the framers of the constitution of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu’s companion, an internationally renowned lawyer Dr. Kamal Hossain. Despite being the husband of human rights activist Barrister Sara Hossain, Kamal Hossain’s son-in-law David Bergman hurt the nation’s emotions many times. He came to the discussion by writing on his blog opposing the trial of those directly involved in crimes against humanity during the great liberation war of Bangladesh.
During the great war of liberation in 1971, when the trial of those involved in all kinds of misdeeds, including genocide, was instigated, Bergman also wrote negatively about it. The main purpose of his writing was to disrupt this trial. In most of his writings, he has tried to question the trial of those involved in crimes against humanity, who are involved in the politics of the anti-liberation forces. Everyone knows that during the war of liberation, Jamaat was the main ally of the Pakistani army, with whose help the Pakistanis committed various crimes against humanity, including genocide.
Bergman began writing after the International Criminal Tribunal was set up to try them, and on October 4, 2016, he wrote the latest article on the subject. The trial is still going on. Bergman, however, is no longer writing as actively as before to disrupt the proceedings. But why? Why did his interest suddenly stop? The reason is clear. Most of the BNP and Jamaat leaders accused of genocide and crimes against humanity have been tried. So since then, he is no longer active in this regard. It is understood that he carried out negative propaganda in the guise of free journalism and he was specially appointed for this.
David Bergman is a man of vengeance and journalism whose main goal is to provoke the present government of Bangladesh. Bergman originally introduced himself as a British journalist who had lived in Bangladesh for many years and worked with national newspapers.
In a blog, he wrote and claimed that 3 million people were not martyred in the liberation war of Bangladesh. He claimed this number was only 3 lakhs! But in fact, the number of martyrs was 10 times more than Bergman’s claim. It needs to be mentioned that since the liberation war, the anti-independence clique has tried to create controversy over the number of martyrs.
This clique has been trying to reduce the number of martyrs in a well-planned manner from the very beginning to cover up their heinous crimes. David Bergman has tried to embarrass Bangladesh and the government in the international arena on their behalf. He was even convicted by a court at one point of incitement to prosecution, and in 2014 the International Criminal Tribunal convicted him of distorting history.
During this time Bergman defended the war criminals and tried to save them. The way he got the opportunity, he tried to obstruct the trial of the criminals against humanity in the liberation war. But all his efforts failed in the end. The war crimes tribunal on December 2, 2014, fined David Bergman Tk 5,000 and sentenced him to seven days in jail for contempt of court for criticizing the tribunal, making offensive comments on a blog, and questioning the number of martyrs in the liberation war. Not only that but he was also instructed to sit in the sitting room till the end of the proceedings of the tribunal on that day. He even had to pay a fine for making offensive remarks about a trial for crimes against humanity; he had to sit in the court all day. Criticizing Bergman in a lengthy ruling, the tribunal warned against writing such comments in the future, saying Bergman acted as a spokesman for special groups who wanted to dispute the tribunal’s judicial proceedings.
Not only the trial of war criminals, but also the social or political movements, issues, and crises of Bangladesh, Bergman’s activities were eye-catching. He was instrumental in implementing the agenda of Jamaat-e-Islami to bring down the government by degrading Bangladesh. In addition to his blog. One of the things he wrote on this blog was to attack the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and her family and to spread confusion about the country’s security and intelligence forces.
Bergman befriended some of the expatriate anti-nationals who were working as closer allies of the anti-liberation forces. As a part of this, he regularly created fabricated news and spread international propaganda about the present government of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Recently, the ring has been spreading propaganda on Facebook and YouTube with live speeches and spreading fake news. Their efforts to reach out to people are intensifying. David Bergman and his collaborators are working against Bangladesh and several platforms are working for them.
The main goal of this cycle is to work for the salvation of the disgusting image of corruption and malpractice of their financiers and anti-liberation forces. David Bergman has been working for the anti-government alliance. He has been working as a liaison. But after the failed attempts they are now using different public platforms in different guises, spreading false-fabricated rumors about the country’s Prime Minister, her family, and patriotic Security forces. David Bergman has been criticized for the analysis in a controversial report titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men” on the Bangladesh government in the Qatar-based media outlet Al Jazeera. He had previously been criticized for controversial work.
A series of propaganda campaigns have been circulating on YouTube or social media for so long. How low a television reporting quality can be understood by looking at the characters presented. Sheikh Hasina’s government, the army, and the country’s judiciary, the heinous lies, propaganda and sinister stories, and the YouTube talk show presented by the so-called exiles.
Bergman is one of the actors in Al-Jazeera’s live drama. He took such a stand against the trial of crimes against humanity in 1971. The analysts opined that he has since been considered by observers as a paid lobbyist for Jamaat. At one point, he left for Britain, but the Jamaat-e-Islami relationship remained with him a path that has re-emerged in Al Jazeera’s vengeance screenplay.
David Bergman was seen to be active on social media over the verdict of Grameen Telecom chairman and Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Capitalizing on the Safe Road movement, the media criticized the government one after the other. In this case, government opponents are used. Apart from this, the media has also been spreading misleading reports of disappearances and murders of opposition political leaders and activists involving the law enforcement agency RAB in social media. He tried to prove Yunus’ verdict as politically motivated. He claimed that the government is continuing these cases unnecessarily. However, the case is proceeding according to the entire legal process. Not only this case, there are other cases against Yunus.
Bergman claims that the Labor Court’s ruling is part of a standard authoritarian game by the government. It amounts to contempt of court to take evidence against and to question the judgment of a case that has been decided in full due process of law. Bergman did that. Dr. Yunus has been charged under Sections 7, 8, 117, and 234 of 4 of the Labor Act. Of course, the subject of contempt of court and being punished for it is nothing new for David Bergman.
While Bergman was working behind the scenes lobbying and working on behalf of war criminals, he was also convicted of contempt of court in Bangladesh. At that time, the court gave him this punishment for creating controversy over the verdict of the special tribunal constituted for the trial of crimes against humanity. As a foreign citizen, the court awarded a lesser punishment in that judgment. In April 2022, the company and the workers came to an agreement on the matter and the workers were paid in full, Bergman says.
A criminal case was later filed against Dr. Yunus. In fact, at that time, efforts were being made to settle the matter by bribing the labor leaders with 6 crore taka. This case happened because all the workers did not accept the matter. Bergman, who claimed to be the backbone of democracy, ruled that the army would intervene after the elections in Bangladesh and said that the government was working against Dr. Yunus because he could play a major role in the then government.
He demands to form a caretaker government under the leadership of Yunus with army powers. The question is, how is a democratic journalist supporting the military intervention of a country? He can make positive comments about taking power and unconstitutionally running the country! If he thinks something like that will happen, then Dr. Yunus should have been charged with treason as an impartial journalist.
But there is nothing in Bergman’s writings about the immoral activities of Dr. Yunus at various times. It seems like he worked as a lobbyist for war criminals, this time Dr Yunus. He promised to fight on behalf of Yunus. In the end, Bergman also showed the fear of US sanctions to the government. He said that the government wants to use Dr. Yunus during the ban. However, Bergman did not bring up the issue of undermining the rights of workers anywhere in his writings.
The writer is a columnist and researcher

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