Bangladesh sentences another Islamist to death

The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) on Feb. 18 convicted and sentenced Islamist leader Abdus Subhan to death. Subhan, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) political party, was charged and convicted of of mass killing, looting and arson during during the 1971 War of Liberation against Pakistan. Subhan is the ninth senior leader of his party to be convicted of war crimes since the tribunal opened in 2010.

The ICTB, which was established in 2009 under the International Crimes Act, is charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed during the 1971 conflict, in which about 3 million people were killed. Asharul Islam is the sixteenth person to be convicted by the ICTB, and the thirteenth to receive a death sentence. Last week the tribunal sentenced a former Bangladeshi junior minister to death for genocide and crimes against humanity.

In November the ICTB sentenced Mobarak Hossain, a former commander of a collaborators' group of the Pakistani army, to death for his role in killings during the 1971 Independence War. Also in November the Supreme Court of Bangladesh upheld the death sentence of Islamist politician Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, who was assistant secretary general of the JI party. In October another JI party leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami, was sentenced to death for war crimes.

Activists have long called for the banning of the country's largest Islamist party. Last March, Bangladeshi investigators moved the government to ban the Islamist party after evidence emerged indicating that JI formed armed groups to assist Pakistani forces in the commission of atrocities.

From Jurist, Feb. 18. Used with permission.