[JURIST] The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday convicted and sentenced [judgement, PDF] Islamist leader Abdus Subhan to death. Subhan, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) political party, was charged and convicted of of mass killing, looting and arson during during the 1971 War of Liberation [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] against Pakistan. Subhan is the ninth senior leader [AP report] of his party to be convicted of war crimes since the tribunal opened in 2010.
The ICTB, which was 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. Asharul Islam is the sixteenth person to be convicted by the ICTB, and the thirteenth to receive a death sentence. Last week the tribunal sentenced [JURIST report] the former Bangladeshi Junior Minister to death for genocide and crimes against humanity. In November the ICTB sentenced [JURIST report] Mobarak Hossain, a former commander of a collaborators’ group of the Pakistani army, to death for his role in killings during the 1971 Independence War. Also in November the Supreme Court of Bangladesh [official website] upheld the death sentence [JURIST report] of Islamist politician Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, who was assistant secretary general of the JI party. In October another JI party leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami, was sentenced to death [JURIST report] for war crimes. Activists have long called for the banning of the country’s largest Islamist party. In March Bangladeshi investigators moved the government [JURIST report] to ban the Islamist party after evidence emerged indicating that JI formed armed groups to assist Pakistani forces in the commission of atrocities.