Bangladesh paves way for execution of Islamist party leader for 1971 war crimes

August 31, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

AP photo

 

By

Sheuli Akter

Bangladesh’s apex court has paved the way for the execution of an influential Islamist party leader for 1971 war crimes.

An Appellate Division bench of the Bangladesh Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the final review petition of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party’s central executive committee member Mir Quasem Ali who was arrested in 2014 from his newspaper office in Dhaka.

Security has been beefed up in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country after the verdict against Ali, 64.

Sources said the death-row war criminal would soon be formally asked whether he would seek presidential clemency.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said there is no legal bar to execute condemned killers unless he seeks a presidential pardon.

Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, principal counsel for Ali, said his family members will soon meet him.

Ali, well known as a key financier of Jamaat, filed a final review petition with the Supreme Court after it on March 8 upheld the death penalty for him.

Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT-2) in November 2014 on a crime against humanity case awarded the death sentence to the Bangladesh Ali who was indicted in 2012 with 14 charges of crimes against humanity.

Charges include looting, mass killings, arson, rape and forcefully converting people into Muslims during the war.

Ali is the sixth person who faces execution.

Influential Ali reportedly appointed a U.S lobbist firm for $25 million to stop trial.

Ali’s Jamaat called a dawn to dusk strike for Wednesday in protest against the verdict.

Four Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party leaders and one opposition BNP leader have already been executed for 1971 war crimes.

The government of Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangladesh’s independence hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, established the first tribunal in March 2010 to punish culprits responsible for war crimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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