Bangladesh court sentences 2 to death for war crimes

By SM Najmus Sakib |

DHAKA, Bangladesh – The International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh on Monday handed death sentences to two people for war crimes during the Liberation War in 1971.

The convicts Liakat Ali, 63, a former ruling party member, and Aminul Islam alias Rajab Ali, 62, are absconding, the Daily Star reported.

Speaking to reporters, prosecutor Rana Dasgupta said the convicts were found guilty of committing crimes against humanity including murder and genocide.

The court said in its verdict that the prosecution had proven all seven charges brought against the accused. They will be hung by neck till death.

Of the 85 suspects in the 35 cases brought before the tribunal, five have died outside of custody. Eighty have been convicted, including 53 sentenced to death.

This is not the first time the controversial tribunal, convicted elderly people — mostly political opponents — for alleged crimes during the war almost 48 years ago, that marked the country’s secession from Pakistan.

It is a domestic tribunal in Bangladesh set up in 2009 in order to investigate and prosecute suspects of war crimes in 1971 — allegedly committed by the Pakistani military and their local collaborators in Bangladesh.

However, the tribunal is accused of being used against political opponents under the pretext of punishing the war criminals.

Following the formation of the court, international human rights group, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, voiced their deep concern over the “unfair trial” process and absence of the court’s international standard.

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