Bangladesh executed a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami party on Saturday for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence. Mir Quasem Ali was accused [Reuters report] of murder, confinement, torture, and inciting religious hatred. In all, five leaders of the party have been executed [BBC report] for war crimes in the country in recent years. Ali was arrested in 2010 and convicted of eight charges in 2014. He was sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] and the sentence was upheld [JURIST report] by the Bangladeshi Supreme Court in March. UN humans rights experts urged [JURIST report] the government of Bangladesh to repeal the death sentence imposed upon Ali for failing to meet international standards on fair trial and due process for the imposition of the death penalty.
The ICTB, established in 2009 under the International Crimes Act, is charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence. During the conflict, more than 3 million people are believed to have died and thousands of women raped, but the Jamaat-e-Islami party insists it did not commit any war crimes. Human rights groups 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.” Motiur Rahman Nizami was executed [JURIST report] in May for war crimes. Also in May, the ICTB sentenced [JURIST report] four men to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s war of independence.