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Bangladesh war crimes court indicts UK Muslim leader

The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [Facebook page; JURIST news archive] has indicted Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a Bangladesh-born UK Muslim leader, for crimes against humanity and genocide including his alleged role in the murder of top intellectuals during the country's 1971 liberation war. Mueen-Uddin is alleged to have been a member of the Islamic militant group Al-Badr, which identified and killed pro-independence activists. Another alleged Al-Badr member, US citizen Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was also accused and is facing the same charges. An arrest warrant was issued in Dhaka on Thursday for both men. Their case is due back in the courts on May 12, and officials say a request for their extradition could be made. The men could face the death penalty for their alleged crimes [BBC report], but, under British law, a person cannot be extradited if facing capital punishment.

The ICTB has been controversial since it was established [JURIST report] by Bangladeshi officials in 2010 to investigate and prosecute crimes committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. In February the ICTB sentenced to death [JURIST report] Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party [party website; GlobalSecurity backgrounder] leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedee [JURIST news archive]. Earlier in February the Bangladesh parliament [official website] approved amendments to the country's war crimes laws to allow prosecutors to appeal sentences given to defendants convicted of war crimes. These amendments were a response to protests [JURIST report] that ensued after Abdul Quader Mollah, another JI leader, was given a life sentence [JURIST report] for crimes during the war.

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