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Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentences 2 to death

[JURIST] The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] on Tuesday sentenced [judgment, PDF] two men to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh's war of independence in 1971. Obaidul Haque Taher and Ataur Rahman Noni were found guilty [VOA report] of three counts of "of participating, aiding and contributing to the commission of offences of murder, abduction and torture as crimes against humanity" and one count of "abetting, contributing, facilitating and complicity in the commission of offences of murder, abduction, confinement, torture, and other inhumane acts [plundering and arson] as crimes against humanity" under Section 3(2)(a)(g) and (h) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 [text, PDF]. Since the formation of the tribunal in 2009, 25 people have been convicted.

The ICTB, established in 2009 under the International Crimes Act [text], is charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed during the 1971 conflict, in which about 3 million people were killed. Rights groups such as Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] have criticized [JURIST report] death sentences imposed by the ICTB, stating that trials of war criminals have, in the past, "failed to meet international standards." In June a Bangladeshi court gave Syed Mohammed Hasan Ali, a fugitive commander of an auxiliary force of Pakistani troops, a death sentence [JURIST report] for torture and massacre in the Liberation War. In April a Bangladeshi appeals court rejected [JURIST report] a final appeal by Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, an Islamist party official convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation war, upholding his death sentence. Last February the ICTB convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] Abdul Jabbar, a militia leader and former lawmaker, to life in prison for genocide and religious persecution committed during the 1971 Liberation War. Earlier that month the tribunal convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] Islamist leader Adbus Subhan to death.

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