The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [official website] on Monday sentenced [judgment, PDF] fugitive Idris Ali Sardar to death for war crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. The ICTB held the trial in absentia, listing Sardar as “absconded” in the court documents. Sardar worked as a leader of the Islami Chhatra Sangha during the war, allying himself with the occupying Pakistan army. Found guilty of genocide, abduction, confinement, torture, rape and other inhumane acts, Sardar was sentenced to be hanged. An accomplice, Solaiman Molla, died earlier this year, and the charges against him were subsequently dropped.
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. 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.” In September authorities executed a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami party for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence. 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.