Bangladesh ex-MP sentenced to death for 1971 war crimes

August 11, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Sheuli Akter

A special tribunal in Bangladesh capital Dhaka dealing with war crimes committed during the country’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971 has sentenced a former lawmaker to death and seven others life in prison.

The tribunal sentenced ex Member of Parliament Sakhawat Hossain to death, who appeared in court on Wednesday alongside another defendant Md Billal Hossain Biswas.

The six others Md Ibrahim Hossain, Sheikh Md Mojibur Rahman, MA Aziz Sardar, Abdul Aziz Sardar, Kazi Ohidul Islam and Md Abdul Khalek were tried in absentia.

Led by Chairman Justice Anwarul Haque, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 found them guilty of all five charges which included rape, murder, confinement and torture of unarmed civilians during the nine-month war.

In 1971 Shakhawat was involved with Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of Jamaat. He was also a commander of Razakar, an auxiliary group of the then Pakistan army.

Jamaat had then opposed the independence of Bangladesh and break-up of Pakistan.

After Bangladesh’s independence Shakhawat joined Jamaat politics and was elected MP from the party. He again became MP in 1991 from ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia‘s BNP in 1996.

Abdus Satter, a defense counsel, told journalists that his clients will file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Bangladesh have so far executed four Jamaat leaders including Motiur Rahman Nizami, ameer (president), and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, secretary general.

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was also hanged for war crimes in 1971.

The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh’s independence hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said that approximtely three million people were killed in the war.

They also stated that over 300,000 women fell victim to torture, including rape by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheuli Akter

Sheuli Akter, from Bangladesh, is a Special Correspondent and Editor of NsNewsWire, (Bangladesh’s First Press Newswire). Previously she had worked for Bangladesh’ top news agency, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and top newspaper (now defunct) The Bangladesh Observer. She also gained an honourable mention in the first ever World Media Summit WMS Awards for ‘Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries’, receiving the award in Beijing in January 2015.

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