Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ex-minister sentenced to death for war crimes

23 December 2014, 12:52

Dhaka - A former junior minister in a Bangladeshi military government was sentenced to death on Tuesday after a war crimes tribunal found him guilty of atrocities during the country's war of independence from Pakistan more than four decades ago.

Syed Mohammad Qaisar, 73, was found guilty of 14 out of 16 charges including genocide, rape, extortion, arson and torture committed during the 1971 war, prosecutors said.

Bangladesh became part of Pakistan at the end of British rule in 1947 but broke away after a war between Bangladeshi nationalists, backed by India, and Pakistani forces.

Pakistani-backed fighters were accused of numerous abuses during the war. About 3 million people were killed, according to official figures, and thousands of women were raped.

"Wounds of rape are greater than wounds of bullets," state prosecutor Tureen Afroz told reporters outside the closely guarded court, after the verdict.

Qaisar denied the charges. He did not make any comment but his lawyer, Syed Mohammad Shahjahan, told reporters his client would appeal: "We didn't get proper judgment."

The tribunal began hearing cases in 2010 with the support of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Her opponents say she is using the tribunal against the two biggest opposition parties - her arch rival Begum Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami.

International human rights groups have said the tribunal falls short of international standards. The government denies that.

The tribunal has convicted 15 people and sentenced 13 of them to death. One person has been executed.

In September, the Supreme Court commuted to life imprisonment a death sentence for a top Islamist leader, Delawar Hossain Sayedee, convicted on similar charges.

More than 200 people have been killed in violent protests against the tribunal and its decisions, most of them Islamist party activists and members of the security forces.

Some factions in Bangladesh, including the Jamaat, opposed the break with Pakistan, but the party denies accusations that its leaders committed atrocities.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto, not Kenneth the main man...

DP William Ruto will be the main man for the Jubilee Party in 2022, Kiraitu Murungi insists. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Jittery times for DP Ruto as Kenn...

Peter Kenneth is a genuine threat to DP William Ruto's 2022 State House bid... and the DP's allies know it. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will name those sabotaging DP R...

A Jubilee Party Governor says that he will name and shame those within Jubilee he says are undermining DP William Ruto's 2022 State House plans. Read more...

ODM official acquitted of defilem...

A Nakuru ODM official on Thursday broke into tears after the court acquitted him of defilement charges leveled against him by his 15-year-old cousin. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...