Bangladesh Islamist Gets Death for War Crimes, Raising Fears of Protests
A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal convicted and sentenced an Islamist party leader to death on Thursday, raising fears of a repeat of clashes between police and protesters after similar sentences were handed down earlier this year.
Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, 61, assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was found guilty of genocide and torture of unarmed civilians during the 1971 war for independence from Pakistan, lawyers and tribunal officials said.
War veterans were among hundreds who cheered the verdict, the fourth reached by the tribunal with more to come, on the street outside the court.
Bangladesh, reeling from a garment factory collapse that killed more than 900 people, has been rocked by protests and counter-protests related to the complex legacy of the independence war in recent months.
The protests are one of the main challenges facing the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who opened an inquiry into abuses committed during the war in 2010.