Crime & Justice

4 in Bangladesh get death for liberation movement war crimes

Dhaka, June 25 (EFE).- Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal sentenced four people to death on Sunday for crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 struggle for independence from Pakistan.

The three-judge bench of the International Crimes Tribunal led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam handed down the verdict against the convicts on four charges—abduction, confinement, murder, and rape—in the Jashore region during the war.

“All four charges against them were proved in court, and the court sentenced them to death,” prosecutor Rezia Sultana told EFE.

One of the four convicts was present when the verdict was announced, and three others were tried in absentia, Sultana said.

Sultana said eight witnesses testified against the convicts.

Defense lawyer Gazi Tamim said they would appeal to the high court against the verdict.

“The same allegations were brought against them in 1972 after the war. But they were relieved of the charges then. We did not get justice here. We will go to the high court against this verdict,” Tamim told EFE.

This is the 52nd verdict in a war crime case since the tribunal was set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 as part of her electoral promise.

Since the first ruling was announced in 2013, a total of 135 out of 155 accused have been sentenced for war crimes in Bangladesh, said the office of the prosecutor.

The court acquitted two accused, while the remaining 18 died in jail during their trial.

Of those convicted, 95 were sentenced to death, nine were handed life-terms, 25 were sentenced to be imprisoned until death, and six others got shorter jail sentences.

Six of those sentenced to death have been executed so far, and five of them were members of the country’s largest Islamist Party, the Jamaat-e Islami, and one belonged to the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. EFE


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