06/16/2015, 00.00
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Death sentence upheld for Islamist leader involved in 1971 killing of Bengali intellectuals

by Sumon Corraya
Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, a leading figure in the Jamaat-e-Islami party, is guilty of crimes against humanity. His party has called for a general strike tomorrow, raising fears about fresh violence.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has upheld the death penalty for Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, for crimes against humanity committed during the country’s War of Liberation from Pakistan (1971).

In issuing their ruling, the court rejected an appeal filed by the lawyers of the accused. The latter’s party has responded to the decision by calling for a nation-wide strike (hartal) for tomorrow.

The Islamist leader, 67, was minister during the coalition government led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) between 2001 and 2006. In 2007, he drew criticism when he claimed that there were no war criminals in the country.

Mojaheed was sentenced to death on 17 July 2013 by one of the war tribunals set up by the Awami League government under the 1973 International Crimes Tribunal Act, a Bangladeshi law designed to try those who committed crimes during the country’s 1971 War of Liberation.

The Islamist leader was found guilty in connection with the massacre of more than 100 intellectuals and the murder of nine Hindus in Faridpur.

Mojaheed has always denied the charges, calling them false and a fabrication. Tomorrow’s strike action by his Jamaat-e-Islami Party has raised concerns about renewed unrest in the country.

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