Bangladesh court upholds death sentences of two politicians
Nov 18, Dhaka: Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld death sentences given to two opposition leaders paving the way for their execution.
They were convicted of war crimes during the country's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.
Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, second in charge of Bangladesh's leading Islamist party, and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party were sentenced to death for atrocities committed during the country's 1971 war of independence, Al Jazeera reported.
The government said that about three million people died during the nearly eight-month war to get independence from Pakistan.
Mujahid, 67, Jamaat-e-Islami party leader, and Chowdhury, 66, could be hanged within weeks unless they seek mercy from the president.
"It is up to them whether they want to seek mercy or not," defence counsel Khandaker Mahbub Hossain told reporters.
According to news reports, Mujahid, social welfare minister from 2001 to 2006 under Khaleda, would be the first former minister and the third to be hanged while Chowdhury would be the first BNP leader to go to the gallows unless they are granted clemency.
Shortly after the verdict was announced, the government ordered blocking of popular social media sites such as Facebook, Whatspapp and Viber for an idefinite period,The Daily Star newspaper reported.
The Oslo Times