Jamaat chief sentenced to death in Bangladesh

Motiur Rahman Nizami, 71, convicted of charges including genocide, murder, torture and rape.

    A special tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced the head of the country's Jamaat-e-Islami party to death for his role in the deaths of thousands during the nation's independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

    The head of a three-judge panel, M Enayetur Rahim, announced the verdict on Wednesday against Motiur Rahman Nizami in a packed courtroom in the nation's capital of Dhaka.

    The 71-year-old Nizami was in the dock for the announcement, the Associated Press news agency reported.

    Nizami, a former cabinet minister, was tried on 16 charges, including genocide, murder, torture, rape and destruction of property.

    Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people, raped 200,000 women and forced about 10 million people to take shelter in refugee camps across the border in neighbouring India during the nine-month war.

    Jamaat-e-Islami, in a statement has denounced the verdict calling for a nationwide general strike for three days beginning on Thursday.

    Outside the courtroom, police and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets after previous verdicts had sparked violence.

    Nizami was a cabinet minister during former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's last term between 2001 and 2006. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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