10/01/2013, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Bangladesh: War Court sentences to death a member of the nationalist party

by Sumon Corraya
The Court has deemed the member of parliament Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury guilty of crimes against humanity during the war of independence. He is the first member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to be tried by these courts: previously only Islamic party leaders been convicted.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - This morning an international court of war sentenced to death Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP, the leading nationalist opposition party), for crimes against humanity committed during the war of liberation from Pakistan (1971). 23 charges hung over him, including murder, persecution, genocide and collaborating with the Pakistani army.

Since their establishment - at the behest of the Awami League, the country's governing party - it is the first time that one of these courts sentences a BNP politician. Before him the war courts have tried and judged only leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's first Islamic Party (the opposition party to the BNP). The BNP has not commented on the verdict.

In recent months the verdicts of the courts of war have created a climate of strong tension: created to "give justice to the victims of the war, in fact they have been a tool to decimate the leadership of the Jamaat. Which took advantage of the lack of transparency of these trials to launch numerous hartal (strikes), which degenerated into clashes and violence. 

 

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