MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) — A senior member of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, has been given the death penalty for war crimes and atrocities committed during the Bangladesh Liberation war for independence from Pakistan in 1971, Aljazeera reported on Sunday.
Mir Quasem Ali, aged 62, has been accused of a total of ten crimes, including mass killings, abduction, torture and crimes against humanity. According to Bangladesh law, two of the charges are punishable with the death penalty, while the others total 72 years of detention, Deutsche Welle reports.
“We will file appeal against the verdict in the higher court," said Ali’s defense lawyer after his client called all evidence a fabrication.
The sentence has been passed by a special court established by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It was the second such verdict over the past week as another leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, Motiur Rahman Nizami, had also been sentenced to death on Wednesday for crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 independence war.
Jamaat-e-Islami is a large Islamist political movement, founded in 1941 in India in order to prevent the secession of Pakistan and its independence. The modern Bangladesh version of Jamaat-e-Islami emerged later in the already independent Pakistan and opposed the secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan in the same way its predecessor did in the case of India.
The leaders of the party are reported to have been involved in war crimes, numerous war atrocities and mass killings of Bengali nationalists, as well as Bangladesh’s intellectuals.