(From Reuters)

Bangladesh Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld death penalty for one of the top leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, Mir Quasem Ali, for war crimes during the 1971 independence war with Pakistan, which included killing and torturing freedom fighters.

Jamaat-e-Islami party leader Mir Quasem Ali waves as he enters a van at the International Crimes Tribunal court in Dhaka in this file photo

Jamaat-e-Islami has called for a dawn-to-dusk countrywide shutdown on March 9 over the Supreme Court ruling.

A war crimes tribunal set up in 2010 has sparked violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, that it is victimizing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s political opponents.

Four opposition politicians, including three leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami, have been convicted by the tribunal and executed since late 2013.

Mir Quasem, 63, is a member of central executive committee of the Jamaat, the largest Islamist party in Bangladesh, and is one of its most powerful leaders as he is believed to be the chief financier of the party.

He is also a leading businessman in Bangladesh, running firms ranging from print and electronic media to hospitals. Read More

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