General

6 men sentenced to death for war crimes in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War

A local court in Bangladesh on Monday sentenced six men to death for war crimes committed during the country's liberation war in 1971.

A three-member bench of the country's International Crimes Tribunal in the capital Dhaka announced the verdict in absentia against the convicted people.

Before the verdict was announced, security was beefed up around the courthouse. Only those with official authorization were permitted to enter the premises.

The tribunal found the six people, aged 56 to 70, guilty of murders, looting, kidnapping, and arson committed during the independence war in Trishal town, north-central Mymensingh district.

The convicted were members of the Bangladesh Muslim League, the state lawyer and prosecutor of the tribunal Tapas Kanti Baul said, referring to the political party founded in the subcontinent in 1906 as the All-India Muslim League.

Following Bangladesh's independence in 1971, the party was banned, along with other Islamic parties.

They were also activists and members of the Peace Committee and Razakar (volunteers) during the liberation war, he added.

They are all fugitives, Baul said, without saying where the convicted are now.

The tribunal, set up in 2009, has been criticized by global rights groups for not following fair trial standards.

According to the government prosecutor, there were nine accused in this case, and three of them died during court proceedings, including two in jail who were arrested.

And the remaining six are on the run, he added.

Complaints were filed against them in July 2018, and the trial process began in December of that year. In total, 19 people testified in court against the convicted people.

Source: Anadolu Agency