Bangladesh Sentences Islamist Leader to Death for War Crimes

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 03:36 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced an Islamist party leader to death on Thursday, the third verdict by the court set up to investigate abuses during the country's independence war.

Delwar Hossain Sayedee, 73, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was found guilty of charges of mass killing, rape, arson, looting, and forcing minority Hindus to convert to Islam during the 1971 independence war, lawyers and tribunal officials said.

The religious party, known as Jamaat, called for a day-long countrywide strike in anticipation of the verdict against Sayedee, the third senior party member convicted by the tribunal. The strike call was largely ignored.

"The verdict has appropriately demonstrated justice. We are happy," state prosecutor Haider Ali told reporters.

Jamaat officials were not immediately available for comment. They condemned the two earlier convictions.

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina set up the tribunal in 2010 to investigate abuses during the independence war that claimed about 3 million lives and during which thousands of women were raped.

The tribunal has been criticized by rights groups for failing to adhere to international standards of due process. Human Rights Watch cited defense lawyers, witnesses, and investigators as saying they had been threatened.

Critics say the tribunal is being used by the prime minister as an instrument against her opponents in the two biggest opposition parties, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami. Begum Khaleda Zia, Hasina's arch rival and leader of the BNP, has called the tribunal a "farce."

Hasina's party has denied allegations of bias.

RIVAL PROTESTS

On Jan. 21, the tribunal sentenced Abul Kalam Azad, a former Jamaat member to death in absentia after he was found guilty of torture, rape and genocide during Bangladesh's 1971 war to break away from Pakistan.

In its second verdict, on Feb. 5, the tribunal sentenced another senior Jamaat member, Abdul Quader Mollah, 64, to life in prison after he was found guilty of charges including murder, rape, torture and arson.

Both of the verdicts sparked protests by Jamaat supporters.

But those protests incited larger counter-demonstrations by supporters of the tribunal demanding death sentences for all those responsible for abuses during the war.

At least a dozen people have been killed in days of protests by both sides across the country that have followed.

Thousands of people in the capital's Shahbag square who have been protesting for weeks to demand the "highest penalty" for war criminals, burst into cheers as the verdict was announced.

Another nine people are awaiting trial, most of them Jamaat members.

Bangladesh became part of Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule in 1947. But the country then known as East Pakistan won independence with India's help in December 1971 following a nine-month war against the then West Pakistan.

Some factions in Bangladesh opposed the break with Pakistan, including the Jamaat. Jamaat leaders have denied involvement in abuses.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Intel Panel: Serious Potential for 'Violent Crackdown in Hong Kong'

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 13:02 PM

Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz and former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra appeared on "America's For . . .

Hong Kong Protesters Stockpile Supplies, Fear Fresh Police Advance

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 12:39 PM

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong late on Tuesday, stockpiling supplies and  . . .

Report: North Korea's Leader Missing for a Month Due to Surgery

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:49 AM

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been hospitalized after surgery on both ankles earlier this month, a South Korean ne . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved