Bangladesh Islamist 'may hang in a week'

Kamaruzzaman was found guilty of committing crimes during 1971 war, and would be second party official to be hanged.

    Bangladesh Islamist 'may hang in a week'
    Jamaat-e-Islami supporters protested last year when Kamaruzzaman was first sentenced to death [Reuters]

    Bangladesh may hang a senior Islamist leader as early as next week after the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence for war crimes, the law minister said.

    Mohammad Kamaruzzaman of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, the country's largest Islamic political group, would be the second senior Islamist to hang for crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence that resulted in secession of the former East Pakistan.

    Law minister Anisul Huq told the AFP news agency on Thursday Kamaruzzaman could be hanged as early as next week unless he sought a presidential pardon.

    The 62-year-old assistant secretary-general of Jamaat has seven days to petition the president for clemency, Huq said.

    "On the expiry of seven days, if he does not apply for clemency, the sentence passed by the highest court of the country can be executed," he said.

    Kamaruzzaman was found guilty in May 2013 of mass murder, torture and abductions.

    The Supreme Court on Monday rejected his appeal, triggering violent clashes between police and Islamist protesters, who set off improvised bombs, torched cars and pelted police with rocks.

    In the last week Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal, a domestic court, has sentenced Jamaat's supreme leader and key financier to death.

    Rights groups say the trials have fallen short of international standards.

    The government maintains they are needed to heal the wounds of the conflict, which it says left three million people dead.

    Independent researchers estimate that between 300,000 and 500,000 people died in the 1971 war.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    Tracee Herbaugh's mother, Sharon, abandoned her when she was born, pursuing a career from which she never returned.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.