The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] on Wednesday sentenced [judgment, PDF] Mohibur Rahman to death for his part in the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. His two associates, Mujibur Rahman and Abdur Razzak, were sentenced to life in prison. The three men were charged with killing two freedom fighters as well as the rape and imprisonment of civilians during the conflict, among other crimes against humanity. The men may appeal their sentences to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh within 30 days.
The ICTB, established in 2009 under the International Crimes Act [text], is charged with to detaining, prosecuting and punishing persons responsible for committing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law 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.” Last month the Supreme Court of Bangladesh upheld the death sentence issued by the ICTB [JURIST report] against Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami. In March the Supreme Court 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. 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.