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Iran Press TV

Top Bangladesh court upholds death sentence for opposition leader

Iran Press TV

Wed Jan 6, 2016 6:34AM

Bangladesh's top court has upheld the death penalty for the leader of the South Asian country's Jamaat-e-Islami Party, dismissing his appeal.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court endorsed the verdict for Motiur Rahman Nizami, who was found guilty in 2014 over charges of murder, rape and orchestrating the killing of top intellectuals during Bangladesh's war of independence with Pakistan in 1971.

"The court upheld the death sentence in three… charges. We're very happy," prosecutor Tureen Afroz told reporters.

Seventy two-year-old Nizami, who has been Jamaat's leader since 2000, now faces execution within months unless he is granted clemency by the president or his case is reviewed by the same court.

Since December 2013, three senior Jamaat officials and a key leader of the main opposition have been executed for alleged war crimes, despite global outcry over alleged shortcomings in their trials by a war crime court.

The court rejected previous reviews of those four opposition figures on death row, resulting in their execution.

In August 2013, the Supreme Court issued a verdict banning the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami and preventing it from contesting in national polls.

Bangladesh's constitution calls for a secular government and prohibits religion-based politics. The country broke away from Pakistan to form an independent country in 1971 following a war between Bangladeshi nationalists, backed by India, and Pakistani troops. The war claimed the lives of some three million people.

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