[JURIST] The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] on Tuesday sentenced [judgment, PDF] four men to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971. Five men were tried, but only four received death sentences for crimes against humanity as enumerated in section 3(2)(a)(g)(h) of the Act No. XIX of 1973 [text, PDF]. The fifth was sentenced to life in prison [AP report] on murder charges. Only one of the four sentenced to death was in court Tuesday; the other three remain at large. The men have 30 days to appeal their convictions.
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. In April of last year 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 2015 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 also sentenced [JURIST report] Islamist leader Adbus Subhan to death.