Top Bangladesh Islamist sentenced to hang for war crimes

AFP , Tuesday 30 Dec 2014

Bangladesh's war crimes court Tuesday sentenced a leading Islamist to death for rape, mass murder and genocide during the country's 1971 independence conflict.

A.T.M Azharul Islam, 62, became the 16th person and the 11th Islamist to be convicted of atrocities by the International Crimes Tribunal, which found him guilty of being a key member of a notorious pro-Pakistan militia.

Azharul Islam is the assistant secretary general of the nation's largest Islamist party, the Jamaat-e Islami.

He was ordered "hanged by the neck" for the genocide of more than 1,200 people in a flood plain in the northern district of Rangpur.

"No doubt, it was mass murder," presiding judge Enayetur Rahimjudge Rahim told a packed court.

Those killed included hundreds of minority Hindus in one of the worst episodes of the nine-month war, which saw what was then east Pakistan break away from the regime in Islamabad.

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