Islamist gets 90 years for war crimes

2013-07-15 12:04

Dhaka - A former leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamist opposition party was sentenced to 90 years in jail on Monday for war crimes, as his party called for a nationwide strike in protest.

Ghulam Azam, former chief of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, was tried by a special war crimes tribunal investigating alleged crimes by several of the party's leaders during the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.

"Allegations of war crimes against Azam were proved beyond doubt, and the court sentenced him to 90 years in prison or in prison until his death," Additional Attorney General MK Rahman said.

Azam, aged 90, was convicted of involvement in genocide, murder and torture of civilians, and other crimes against humanity during the nine-month war, which left around 3 million people dead, 200 000 women raped and thousands of homes torched.

He was also found guilty of colluding with Pakistani forces' attacks on civilians during the conflict.

Judge ATM Fazle Kabir pronounced the verdict amid tight security, Rahman said.

Jamaat-e-Islami had called for a strike Monday, demanding the release of Azam and other of its former leaders facing war crimes charges, which the party says are politically motivated.

  • Musawashe Moyo - 2013-07-15 12:23

    In other words he was sentenced to less than 10 years in prison.

      Heibrin Venter - 2013-07-15 13:25

      @Musawashe: sad thing is, for the next ten years he'll be able to continue spewing his drivel.

      Musawashe Moyo - 2013-07-15 14:34

      Not really, he will spend the next yrs in isolation getting closer to his Creator since he is about to meet him

  • Faerra Bra - 2013-07-15 12:45

    The word "Islamist" is negative profiling of Muslims by mainstream media News 24 should stop using the word Islamist - you wouldn't get the headline "Minister of communications replaced by Islamist" (Yunus Carrim (atheist)Or "Left Footers riot in Ireland" or "Hebes arrest 5 year old Palestinian Boy"

      Naeem Dollie - 2013-07-15 13:20

      I agree! Complete bull that the word Islamist is used. So many times across the media. Never used for other religions.

      Heibrin Venter - 2013-07-15 13:22

      @Faerra: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the people killed during the Bangladeshi Liberation War were mainly Hindu's, and that those who killed them were members of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party? That makes it a religious crime, and as such it is correct to call him an Islamist.

      Avremel Niselow - 2013-07-15 13:36

      Islamist simply means someone who wishes to create an Islamic state based on Sharia law, this it is appropriate in this context.

      Gail Hayes-Bean - 2013-07-15 22:36

      Genuinely ignorant here. What would be the correct terminology to use in place of Islamist? Is this evil man not a follower of Islam and what is the difference between Muslim and Islam? Is your objection based on the fact that not all evil men are Islamist or that this man was actually not acting in the name of islam? I'm really confused on this point. I dislike and disapprove of fundamentalism in any form whether it be gender based or race based or whatever. People should not be jdged and labelled according to religion unless that religion is of a fundamentalist nature and resulted in untold suffering to hundreds of thousands of people whose beliefs were different. One cannot claim to be acting in the name of something as long as you are on the winning side and then do a complete 180 and say that what you did had nothing to do with your beliefs when justice catches up with you. Seems to me that the sentence hardly fits the crime given the suffering inflicted on his orders.

  • Jt Goba - 2013-07-15 13:12

    90yrs old + 90yrs jail time = million yrs

  • Toofaan Monsoon - 2013-07-15 13:28

    Ok. As much as I generally don't bother with political issues, I do have an opinion here. The split between Pakistan and India was because of huge differences in religious ideology. But I've never come across a single Muslim person in INDIA that did not want to be there (over a dozen trips so far). Pakistan is a different case altogether. As a person who believes in Karma, I believe that Pakistan will get what's due to them. It's started already.

      Philip Johnson - 2013-07-15 15:07

      I think you are right. The same is happening in all Islamist states. Death & mayhem prevails. Makes you wonder about the nature of their "god".

      Gail Hayes-Bean - 2013-07-15 22:46

      Philip I don't think one can blame the God when it is the God's creation who is actually at fault or flawed. There are I am sure many devout adherents of this particular faith who do not carry things to such extreme lengths and perhaps it is they who are objecting to a man like this being held up as an example of their faith. This is purely conjecture on my part but I do believe that all groups of people be they religious or racial or gender based contain elements of evil and good and one swallow doth not a summer make. One bad apple can certainly contaminate a whole basket if not removed however the apples contaminated by association were not bad apples.

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