Ex Bangladeshi lawmaker to die for war crimes

Ex Bangladeshi lawmaker to die for war crimes

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 3:09 pm

hanging, ropeA former Bangladeshi lawmaker was on Wednesday sentenced to death for crimes committed during the country’s 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan, a court official said.

A prosecution lawyer, Ziad al Malum said that a special tribunal handed down the death penalty to Sakhawat Hossain, a former Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party lawmaker, for the killing, raping and torturing of unarmed civilians during the war.

He said that the three-member panel of judges also sentenced seven others, six of them in absentia, to life in prison.

Hossain was a central committee member of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party which opposed the creation of Bangladesh.

It aided the Pakistani army to carry out atrocities against civilians in what was then eastern Pakistan and is now Bangladesh.

Hossain, a local commander in a group that helped Pakistani soldiers in the southwestern district of Jessore, was convicted on five counts of war crimes.

The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up the special tribunal in 2010 to prosecute suspected war criminals who collaborated with the Pakistani military.

An earlier initiative to prosecute war crimes was called off after the assassination of Bangladesh’s founding president Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina’s father, in a military putsch in 1975.

The tribunal has so far convicted 34 people, including some of Jamaat-e-Islami’s top leaders.

Twenty-one were sentenced to death, 12 to life in prison and one to 90 years in jail.

Five have since been executed and three have died in prison.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s former leader Motiur Rahman Nizami, 73, was executed in May.

The others were fellow Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Abdul Kader Mollah, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, and Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. (dpa/NAN)

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