Clashes in Bangladesh between the police and supporters of an Islamist leader have left at least 16 people dead, on the first day of a strike called in protest at his death sentence.
Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, of the group Jamaat-e-Islami, was convicted on charges including murder, rape and torture during the war of independence in 1971.
Here Bangladeshis share their experiences.
Rafiq Hasan Raja, Dhaka
Bangladesh is now a burning hell. Everyone lives here with fear.
People have stopped going outside. If someone has to go for urgent work, his family members start praying to God for his safety.
In the busiest hour, you’ll find vacant roads. Things are at a standstill. In trying to get to work during this strike period, you have to pay double or triple for the bus.
The whole country is divided. Law and order are absent. The country has become a savage and failed nation.
Our country has a very bloody history. I fear we will see blood again. The international community must get the government and the protesters to find a solution. All we want is to be able to die natural deaths.
Jahangir Alam, Dhaka
On Saturday, as I came home from work I saw a bus burning on the street, set alight by activists. The police were trying to control the situation, but they were having stones and other objects thrown at them.
People in the street are very, very afraid of Jamaat-e-Islami. I am scared. Evening time is the worst; from 19:00 to 21:00 it is very dangerous to be out in the street. This is when most of the fighting, killing and burning occurs.
In the madrasas, Jamaat-e-Islami they are recruiting children to fight for them – they are under eighteen and they are poor and vulnerable.
The police are not attacking innocent people, they are trying to assure the the safety net of general peoples’ lives, their families and their legal right to live like a free man in free country.
Female university student, Dhaka
Yesterday, after class, as I was coming back home, suddenly a white tank came from behind my rickshaw and went past me very quickly and it was firing openly. There were two police officers on top of the tank.
I could see the BNP [opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party] activists running for their lives. I don’t know if any of them were shot, but I could see the police on top of the tank. It was a frightening experience – this was the first time that I have ever heard gunshots in real life.
Later when I got home I heard that a BNP activist had died that day.
Bangladesh has become so divided now. It feels as if there are two opposing groups and you have to belong to one of them.
Mainul Hasan Alin, Dhaka
Jamaat-e-Islami are destroying millions of dollars worth of public property and killing and terrorising religious minorities. Being a Muslim myself, I am ashamed at what they are doing in the name of Islam. They are brainwashing young people to believe it is right to kill – but Islam is all about peace.
Capital punishment for the war criminals of the liberation war in 1971 is something people have always wanted, but it has never possible to try them.
The tactic of Jamaat-e-Islami, and its student section ‘Shibir’, is to create so much anarchy in the country that the government lets the army loose. Once the army is out, it will remove the government from power. And once that happens, all the negative things about Jamaat-Shibir will temporarily go out of people’s mind.
We are really concerned about what’s happening. The government’s tribunal [that gave the death sentence to Delwar Hossain Sayeedi] is totally political motivated and biased.
The Jamaat leaders are totally innocent: they couldn’t prove a single charge against Sayeedi.
Jamaat leaders are victims of political revenge. We do not want a kangaroo tribunal. The verdict should be cancelled.
Over 15 million people support Jamaat strongly. Millions have already come onto the streets against the verdict. They will never be silenced when their leaders are victims of injustice and judicial killing.