News / Asia

Two Dead in Bangladesh War Crimes Protest

Bangladeshi Hindus wave black flags as they march through a street to protest against alleged attacks by Jamaat-e-Islami activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 2, 2013.
Bangladeshi Hindus wave black flags as they march through a street to protest against alleged attacks by Jamaat-e-Islami activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 2, 2013.
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VOA News
Police in southern Bangladesh clashed with Islamists protesting the death sentence given to a senior Islamist opposition leader, leaving at least two people dead Saturday in Chittagong.  

Delwar Hossain Sayedee, a senior member of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was sentenced to death Thursday by a war crimes tribunal after being convicted for atrocities, including rape and mass killings.

Sayedee's lawyer has called the verdict unjust and has vowed to appeal.

At least 46 people have been killed during three days of protests since the sentence was handed down. Sayedee is the third Jamaat-e-Islami party member to be sentenced for war crimes since the tribunal was established in 2010.  

On January 21, the court sentenced Abul Kalam Azad to death in absentia, finding him guilty of torture, rape, and genocide. On February 5, it sentenced Abdul Quader Mollah to life in prison on similar charges. At least eight more Jamaat-e-Islami members are still on trial.

Human rights organizations have questioned the fairness of the trials, saying members of the defense have been unduly pressured.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on those in Bangladesh to stop the violence and express their views peacefully.

Bangladesh fought a nine-month war against Pakistan in 1971 to obtain its independence. The government says three million people died in the violence, although other estimates put the death toll lower.

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