Bangladesh asks Amnesty to retract criticism of country’s execution plans for war criminals

Bangladesh asks Amnesty to retract criticism of country’s execution plans for war criminals

[JURIST] Bangladesh has asked [VOA report] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] to retract its criticism of the country’s execution plans for opposition politicians convicted of war crimes at a local tribunal. In 2013 the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] convicted Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, a senior politician from Jamaat-e-Islami and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, of war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971. Their convictions and subsequent death sentences were upheld [JURIST report] earlier this year, and the two men filed review petitions to be heard by the country’s top court on November 17. AI stated [press release] that the trials of the men “failed to meet international standards.” They also noted, “in the government’s haste to see more war crimes convicts executed, both men were subjected to a speeded up appeals’ process. The UN has stated the ICT fails to meet international fair trial standards.”

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. 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. In 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. In February the ICTB sentenced [JURIST report] the former Bangladeshi Junior Minister to death for genocide and crimes against humanity.