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Bangladesh war crimes tribunal rejects bail plea for Jamaat-e-Islami leader

The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) on Monday rejected a bail petition from Jamaat-e-Islami party (JI) [party website, in Bengali; GlobalSecurity backgrounder] leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedee [JURIST news archive]. Lawyers for Sayeedee asserted that he just had a surgery and needed to be placed on bail [Gulf Times report] in order to recover fully. The prosecutor opposed the bail petition, citing that Sayeedee has been recovering well and is already receiving necessary medical attention. Sayedee is a former member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Bangladesh [official website, in Bengali] and one of the leaders of the JI Bangladesh. He has been charged with 20 crimes [PTI report] contained in the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act of 1973 [text, PDF] including genocide, arson, rape and torture, and he went on trial [JURIST report] in November.

The ICTB has continued to arrest and indict individuals accused of war crimes in connection to the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. On Thursday, the ICTB indicted Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed [JURIST report], secretary general of the JI, on seven counts of crimes against humanity. Earlier in the week, Bangladesh police arrested [JURIST report] Mir Kashem Ali for allegedly being an auxiliary to the Pakistani armed forces and running a torture facility at the Dalim Hotel during the war. The ICTB issued an arrest warrant earlier that day against the chairman of Diganta Media Corporation [Facebook page] and senior leader of the JI. He was the eighth high-profile leader who has been indicted for the crimes committed during the war. A week earlier, the ICTB indicted [JURIST report] former Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Abdul Alim on 17 counts of crimes against humanity, Bangladesh's national news agency reported.

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