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Bangladeshi Islamic Preacher Sentenced To Death For War Crimes

A Bangladeshi court has sentenced an Islamic cleric to death for collaborating with Pakistani forces during the country's war for independence 41 years ago.

In a court hearing on January 21, the presiding judge announced that Abdul Kalam Azad should be hanged for his role in genocide, rape, and looting during Bangladesh's war against Pakistan in 1971.

Azad is a former leader of the Islamist Jammat-e Islami political party.

He is among top opposition figures accused of war crimes during the independence struggle.

Azad reportedly escaped to Pakistan after the tribunal issued his arrest warrant in March 2012.

The sentence was handed down by a domestic war crimes tribunal created in 2010 with no international oversight.

Bangladeshi opposition parties and international human rights groups have expressed concerns over the fairness of trials conducted by the tribunal.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and Reuters

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