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Bangladesh: Execution of Two More War Crimes Convicts

(Nov. 25, 2015) On November 22, 2015, two opposition leaders in Bangladesh, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, were hanged simultaneously for war crimes after their clemency petitions were denied by the President of Bangladesh. (Bangladesh Executes Two Opposition Leaders for 1971 War Crimes, DAILY STAR (Nov. 21, 2014).)

According to recent news reports, the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh has convicted 24 people, most of whom are leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami (Jamaat), the party that supported the military activities of the Pakistan army during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence. (David Bergman, Bangladesh’s War Crimes Tribunal Under Fire from Human Rights Group for “Flawed” Trials but Government Hits Back, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE TRIBUNE (Nov. 10, 2015).)

Salauddin was one of the senior-most leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He was sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal in October 2013.  Charges against him included genocide, arson, and persecuting people on religious and political grounds.  (For India, Bangladesh Executions Internal Matter, BDNEWS24 (Nov. 11, 2015).)

Mujahid was the Minister of Social Welfare in the Bangladesh National Party-led coalition Cabinet with Jamaat in 2001. The charges against him included the massacre of intellectuals and involvement in the murder and torture of Hindus. (Supreme Court Confirms Pro-Pakistan Militia Commander Mujahid’s Death Penalty for Bangladesh War Crimes, BDNEWS24 (June 16, 2015).)

Both Chowdhury and Mujahid had denied all the charges against them, but the Supreme Court of Bangladesh upheld their sentences earlier this month.  Bangladesh has now executed a total of four war crimes convicts. (Bangladesh Executes Two War Criminals, INDIA.COM (Nov. 22, 2015).)  Abdul Kader Mollah, also a Jamaat leader, was the first war crimes convict to walk to the gallows; he was executed in 2013. (Shameema Rahman, Bangladesh: First Execution of War Criminal Convicted by International Crimes Tribunal, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Jan. 9, 2014).)