Bangladesh: Jamaat-e-Islami leader sentenced to death

A leader in the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party has been sentenced to death on Tuesday for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence.

ATM Azharul Islam, who was the party's assistant secretary general until his arrest in 2012, was found guilty of five of the six charges against him.

The sentence was handed by the International Crimes Tribunal, a domestic court investigating war crimes committed in the 1971 war.

Law enforcement agencies have tightened security around the court to prevent any disturbancesfollowing Azhar's verdict.

Azharul Islam was a college student during the war in 1971 and, at the time,president of the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh's northern district ofRangpur.

This was the 15th verdict given bythe tribunal and the eighth against atop Jamaat-e-Islami leader. Seven of those found guilty were for Jamaat-e-Islami leaders andtwo were former Jamaat-e-Islami leaders.Two others setencedwerefrom the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and one was a former minister from the Jatiya Party, which is in the current ruling coalition.

There have been five otherJamaat-e-Islami leaders sentenced to death; the only execution so far has been of Abdul Quader Mollah in December 2013 but another, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, is awaiting execution.

The International Crimes Tribunal was set up in 2009 in Bangladesh to investigate and prosecute suspects who, during the 1971 independence war,committed war crimes -- including murder, rape and arson --and collaborated with thethen-Pakistan army.

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Last Modified: 2014-12-30 14:44:39
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