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Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami Leader Sentenced To Death For War Crimes Committed In 1971

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The International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced to death a leader of the country’s main religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami, for crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 war.

According to a report in Aljazeera, the chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal 2, Justice Obaidul Hassan, delivered the sentence to JI leader Mir Quasem Ali in Dhaka on Sunday.

The tribunal found Mir Quasem guilty on 10 charges, two of which carried a death sentence. One of the charges includes the kidnapping and torture to death of a young man. The JI leader was further sentenced to 72 years in prison on other charges.

Mir Quasem Ali is a member of the policy-making body of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and is one of their top financiers.

He was one of the top three commanders of al-Badr, a militant wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which is accused of perpetrating atrocities during the crisis in East Pakistan in 1971.

The leader’s lawyers have stated that they would be appealing against the decision.

The Bangladeshi government boosted security around the court when the JI leader appeared before court, in order to prevent violence from JI’s supporters, who had announced a nationwide shutdown in protest against the death sentence of another party leader, Motiur Rehman Nizami, on Wednesday.

The tribunal has sentenced nine party leaders, while two more are under trial.

The tribunal was set up in 2010 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to investigate abuses during the 1971 war. Critics have said that the tribunal has been used to target the political opponents of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami.

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