The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) on Oct. 1 sentenced Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a member of parliament for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), to death for war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Chowdhury is the first member of the BNP to stand trial for war crimes under the tribunal set up by the Awami League-led government in 2010. He was found guilty on nine of 23 charges stemming from accusations regarding his role in war crimes committed by pro-Pakistan militias. Chowdhury is expected to appeal his conviction in the Supreme Court.
Bangladesh has suffered in recent months from a wave of violent protests over war crimes convictions against leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh last month sentenced Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary general of the Islamist party JI, to death. This overturned a February ruling by the ICTB, which sentenced Mollah to life in prison for crimes committed during the 1971 war. In July, Ali Ahsan Mojaheed was found guilty of five charges by the ICTB, including those of kidnapping and killing a journalist and a number of other people during the war. Also in July, Ghulam Azam, chief of JI in Bangladesh until 2000, was found guilty by the ICTB of five charges of planning, conspiracy, incitement, complicity and murder during the war.
From Jurist, Oct. 1. Used with permission.