Accessibility links

Violence Erupts With Guilty Verdict Against Islamist Leader In Bangladesh


A court on Bangladesh has found a top Islamist party leader guilty of atrocities committed during the country's 1971 war for independence against Pakistan.

The government-commissioned International Crimes Tribunal convicted Ghulam Azam on July 15 on five war crimes charges and sentenced him to 90 years in prison.

During the war for liberation, Azam led Jamaat-e Islami in what was then East Pakistan.

Bangladeshi prosecutors described the now 90-year-old Azam as being the "mastermind" behind massacres and rapes by militias fighting against independence.

Prosecutors compared him to Adolf Hitler and had sought the death penalty.

During the war for liberation, Azam led Jamaat-e Islami in what was then East Pakistan. Jamaat-e-Islami was on the side of the Pakistani Army during the nine-month conflict that ended on December 16, 1971, when the Pakistani Army surrendered.

The Bangladeshi government estimates the Pakistani Army and local collaborators, such as Jamaat-e-Islami, killed some 3 million people and raped some 200,000 women, though those figures are disputed by independent researchers who say the figures are lower.

Jamaat-e Islami called for protests on July 14 after the tribunal announced there would be a verdict on July 15.

Clashes erupted before the verdict was announced.

Police fired rubber bullets at protesters from Azam's Jamaat-e Islami party in the capital, Dhaka, and also in the cities of Bogra, Comilla, and Rajshani after they went on a rampage, destroying vehicles and other property.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
XS
SM
MD
LG