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Bangladesh’s Supreme Court rejects appeal against death sentence

Bangladesh's Supreme Court rejected an appeal to scrap the death sentence handed to a senior Islamist leader, who was found guilty of genocide by a domestic war crimes tribunal.

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, assistant secretary general of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party has now lost his final appeal against the sentence, which was given last year for crimes committed during the Bangladeshi 1971 war of independence.

The decision was criticised by Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch who said, “Bangladesh’s war crimes trials have been plagued by persistent and credible allegations of fair trial violations that require impartial judicial review.”

“Human Rights Watch has long supported justice and accountability for the horrific crimes that occurred in 1971, but these trials need to meet international fair trial standards to properly deliver on those promises for the victims,” said Mr Adams. “Delivering justice requires adhering to the highest standards, particularly when a life is at stake. The conduct of Kamaruzzaman’s trial cannot be said to have met those standards.”

During his trial, witnesses testified that Mr Kamaruzzaman led Pakistani soldiers to a village in the north of the country, where at least 120 people were massacred.

 

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