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Bangladesh upholds death penalty for politicians over war crimes


Dhaka  –  Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentences of two senior opposition politicians convicted of crimes committed during the country’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan.

Attorney General, Mahbubey Alam, said the judges rejected petitions by Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Salauddin Chowdhury and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan- Mohammad Mujahid.

He said a special war crime tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010, convicted both of them of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity committed during the nine-month armed struggle.

Bangladesh’s earlier initiative to prosecute war crimes was called off after the assassination of the country’s founding President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, also the father of Hasina, in 1975.

Alam said Chowdhury and Mujahid filed review petitions on October 14, 2015 after the appeal court upheld the death sentences handed down by the trial court in 2013.

He said Mujahid, the secretary general of the Jammat-e-Islami party, was convicted of four counts of war crimes on July 17, 2013 while Chowdhury, a standing committee member of BNP, was handed the death sentence on October 1, 2013 after being convicted of nine charges.
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The attorney general noted that two top-ranking leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, were executed after all legal procedures were completed.

He added that Abdul Mollah, the Assistant Secretary General of the party was hanged on December 12, 2013, while the Assistant Secretary General, Muhammad Qamaruzzaman was executed on April 12, 2015. (dpa/NAN)

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