"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bangladeshi Supreme Court Rejects Appeals Of 2 Senior Leaders Convicted Of War Crimes, Upholds Death Sentence

Bangladesh Supreme Court
Bangladesh's Supreme Court Wednesday rejected appeals of 2 senior opposition leaders convicted of war crimes during the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. The court also upheld the death sentences given to the 2 leaders.

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of Jamaat-e-Islami were convicted in 2013 by a war crimes tribunal on charges related to rape, torture and genocide.

"There are no legal hurdles to execute the war criminals now," Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, according to Indo-Asian News Service agency.

Authorities stepped up security in capital Dhaka and other parts of the country after the apex court's announcement, according to local media. Jamaat-e-Islami called a shutdown Thursday to protest the court's decision, according to the Associated Press. 

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority said in a statement that it blocked social media sites including Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp indefinitely to cease any propaganda that might lead to violence in the country, the AP reported.

Chowdhury and Mujahid can seek presidential mercy. "It is up to them whether they want to seek mercy or not," defense counsel Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said, according to Reuters.

In October 2013, the country's International Crimes Tribunal sentenced the 66-year-old BNP leader to death for 9 of 23 charges, including 4 counts of genocide. Chowdhury was found guilty of killing 200 civilians, mostly Hindus, in Chittagong. At the time, his party maintained that the trial was politically motivated. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people were killed in the 9-month Bangladesh Liberation War that ended in December 1971. Over 15 people, mostly Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, were convicted of war crimes by 2 separate tribunals set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010.

Source: ibtimes.com, November 18, 2015

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