One person has died after being hit by stones in Bangladesh as demonstrators protest the death sentence of a senior Islamist leader for war crimes committed in the country's 1971 war for independence from Pakistan.
Supporters of Abdul Quader Mollah, a leader of the opposition Jemaat-e-Islami party, staged demonstrations in the capital Dhaka, and in other cities, to protest a decision Tuesday by the Supreme Court to increase his sentence from life in prison to death. Schools and businesses were closed down and security was tight, particularly in the capital, as protesters gathered to lob stones and homemade bombs at police. Meanwhile, a nationwide strike was called for by Mollah's party.
Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Tuesday increased Mollah's sentence to death for crimes against humanity after his previous sentence, handed down by a war crimes tribunal, was deemed too lenient.
The ruling Awami League party welcomed the court's decision.
The case has always been contentious. Protests erupted after Mollah's original sentence was issued in January, leading parliament to revise its war crimes laws. The laws now allow the state to appeal any sentence deemed to be inadequate.
Mollah's supporters say the verdict against him was politcally motivated.
More than 100 people have died in protests and counter-protests in the country since the war crimes tribunal began issuing sentences to suspects in January.
A man sprays water on a car set on fire by activists of the Jemaat-e-Islami party protesting the revised sentencing of Abdul Quader Mollah, Dhaka, Sept. 17, 2013.
Shamsul Huq, a driver, sits inside his auto rickshaw after his right arm was burned by a crude bomb thrown during a protest against the revised sentencing of Abdul Quader Mollah, Dhaka Sept. 17, 2013.
Activists shout slogans and celebrate the verdict against Jemaat-e-Islami party leader Abdul Quader Mollah in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sept. 17, 2013.
An activist celebrates the verdict against Jemaat-e-Islami party leader Abdul Quader Mollah in Dhaka, Sept. 17, 2013.
Security personnel stand guard in front of a court where a verdict against Jemaat-e-Islami party leader Abdul Quader Mollah was delivered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sept. 17, 2013.
Police search pedestrians in front of a court after a verdict against Jemaat-e-Islami party leader Abdul Quader Mollah was delivered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sept. 17, 2013.