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Bangladesh Upholds Death Sentences for War Crimes

FILE - Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior opposition leader, waves to the media after he arrives at the war crime tribunal, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Oct. 1, 2013.

Bangladesh Upholds Death Sentences for War CrimesBangladesh's highest court has upheld the death sentences of two opposition leaders who were convicted of war crimes committed during the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.

Bangladesh Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said Wednesday's rejection of the appeals of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of Jamaat-e-Islami cleared the way for them to be hanged as soon as next week.

Chowdhury and Mujahid were convicted by a special war crimes tribunal in 2013 on charges including rape and genocide.

The special tribunals in Bangladesh have sentenced more than a dozen opposition leaders for war crimes since 2010. Both the BNP and the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party denounce the trials as politically motivated attempts to target opposition members.

Bangladesh says local collaborators and Pakistani soldiers killed 3 million people, raped 200,000 women and displaced about 10 million to refugee camps in neighboring India during the fight for independence from Pakistan.