World Bulletin / News Desk
Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death penalty for Bangladesh Jamaat e Islami’s Secretary General Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid and Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s Salauddin Quader Choudhury.
Both men, convicted of war crimes, are only left with the option of seeking a presidential pardon.
In response to the verdict, the Bangladesh Jamaat e Islami called for a nationwide strike on Thursday.
A special domestic court had found Mujahid guilty on five out of seven charges and sentenced him to death in July 2013. The tribunal also handed the death sentence to Choudhury in October of the same year.
These two leaders had served at Bangladesh’s top government offices during different times. Mujahid served with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Chowdhury was the parliamentary affairs advisor of Khaleda Zia when she was in power.
The tribunal was established in 2009 to investigate war crimes committed in 1971.
Bangladesh has accused the Pakistani army and its local collaborators of killing up to three million people during the 1971 war, as well as decimating entire villages and raping thousands of women.
Bangladesh’s opposition parties and international organizations such as Human Rights Watch have criticized the process and expressed concerns about the accused not receiving a fair trial.