Bangladesh high court upholds Islamist leader’s death sentence
Bangladesh high court upholds Islamist leader’s death sentence

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Bangladesh [official website] on Thursday rejected Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami’s final appeal of his death sentence for war crimes committed in the country’s war for independence against Pakistan in 1971. Nizami’s conviction was made final [Guardian report] on charges of genocide, murder, torture and rape. A war crimes tribunal, established in 2010, convicted [JURIST report] Nizami in 2014. Nizami led Bangladesh’s largest Islamist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, from 2001-2006 and is one of the most significant figures to be prosecuted by the tribunal. It is likely Nizami will be executed now at any time.

This week the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] sentenced [JURIST report] four men to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971. The ICTB, established in 2009 under the International Crimes Act [text], is charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed during the 1971 conflict. Rights groups such as Amnesty International [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 March the Supreme Court of Bangladesh upheld [JURIST report] the death sentence of a former opposition politician for allegedly committing war crimes during the 1971 war of independence. In February the ICTB sentenced [JURIST report] two men to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971. Last 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.