Bangladesh SC upholds death for Mohd Kamaruzzaman, Awami League supporters hail verdict

Islamist leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman

Dhaka (Bangladesh), Nov 4: Bangladesh Supreme Court’s verdict to uphold the death penalty for Islamist leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman has been hailed by the supporters and activists of the ruling Awami League Party.

Islamist leader Mohammad Kamaruzzaman was earlier convicted for war crimes in May last year.

According to reports, a special war crimes tribunal found Kamaruzzaman, 62, an assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, guilty of genocide and torture of unarmed civilians during the 1971 war.

The tribunals have reportedly delivered death sentences for two Jamaat leaders, including its party chief and former minister, Motiur Rahman Nizami, over the past week.

Earlier on Monday, Defence lawyers said they would file a petition for a review but state prosecutors said it was not an option.

“The whole country is quite happy and I am a part of that because we saw that after 43 years of our independence, the nation could bring the war criminals under trial which was the long awaited desire of the country, especially the country who lost three million people and 2 million tortured women in 1971,” said a professor at Dhaka university, Binita Sen.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court in September had commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment for another top Islamist leader, Delawar Hossain Sayedee, convicted for similar crimes.

An Islamist politician was hanged in December, the first war crimes execution in Bangladesh, after the top court overturned a life sentence imposed by the tribunals.

The tribunals have irked Islamists who call them a politically motivated bid to persecute the leadership of Jamaat and weaken the opposition.

Violent protests over the trials are one of the main challenges facing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who opened an inquiry into war crimes in 2010.

More than 200 people were killed in clashes last year, most of them Islamist party activists and security force members.

What was East Pakistan at the end of British rule in 1947 broke away into independent Bangladesh in 1971 after a war between Bangladeshi nationalists, backed by India, and Pakistani forces. About three million people were killed in the war.

(With Agency Inputs)

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