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Bangladesh hangs two opposition leaders for 1971 war crimes

AFP | Bangladeshi activists call for the death penalty for opposition leaders on November 18, 2015

Bangladesh executed two opposition leaders on Sunday for war crimes committed during the 1971 war to break away from Pakistan, a senior police official said, in a move likely to draw an angry reaction from supporters.

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“Both of them were hanged simultaneously on two separate platforms,” the police official said.

Islamist opposition leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, former legislator from former premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), were hanged shortly after President Abdul Hamid rejected their appeals earlier on Saturday for clemency.

Mujahid, 67, of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, and Chowdhury, 66, were hanged at Dhaka Central Jail. The Supreme Court had previously rejected their appeals against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide and torture of civilians during the conflict.

The Border Guard Bangladesh paramilitary force has been deployed across the country after calls for a general strike and protests.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh has seen a rise in Islamist violence in recent months, with two foreigners and four secular writers and a publisher killed this year.

Mujahid was found guilty of five charges including torture and the murders of intellectuals and minority Hindus while he commanded Al Badr, an auxiliary force of the Pakistani army, during the war to break away from Pakistan.

Chowdhury, former legislator from former premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was convicted in October 2013 on charges of genocide, religious persecution, abduction and torture during the war.

(REUTERS)
 

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