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Tribunal Sentences Bangladesh Jamaat Leader To Death

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Kamaruzzaman

A war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh has convicted and sentenced Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, assistant secretary-general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party to death for war crimes, raising fears of clashes between the police and supporters of the Islamist leader.

The 59-year-old was found guilty on charges of genocide and torture of unarmed civilians during the 1971 war for independence from Pakistan, lawyers and tribunal officials said on Thursday.

Obaidul Hassan, the head of the three-judge tribunal, said the charges had been proved beyond every reasonable doubt and sentenced him to death.

He had previously been acquitted for two of the seven original charges.

One of the charges that carried the death penalty was being a commander of a massacre of 120 people.

Defence lawyer Ehsan Siddiky said justice was denied to his client and promised to appeal.

Kamaruzzaman, who had pleaded not guilty through his lawyers, was accused of committing multiple abuses during the country’s liberation war.

“He was just a lad during the war. It’s a ridiculous suggestion that a 19-year-old could control the Pakistani army,” chief defence counsel Abdur Razzaq said.

He was found guilty of leading his followers to kill at least 183 people in his home district of Sherpur in northern Bangladesh.

The prosecution said he had formed the group Al-Badr to collaborate with the Pakistani army and led them to kill unarmed people and molest women.

Bangladesh says the war left three million people dead, 200,000 women molested and millions forced to flee to neighbouring India.

The genocide charge against Kamaruzzaman stems from the killing of at least 120 unarmed Bangladeshi farmers in the remote northern village of Sohagpur, which has since become known as the “Village of the Widows”.

Three of the widows testified against Kamaruzzaman at his trial in which the prosecution detailed how the then 19-year-old led Pakistani troops to the village.

The tribunal was told the soldiers then marched the farmers to paddy fields, forced them to stand in a line and proceeded to gun them down en masse.

Mohammad Jalal Uddin, a farmer who lost seven members of his extended family in the killing, was delighted at the verdict.

“I lost my father, uncle and other relatives. Their crime was to have taken part in training to join the freedom fight,” said Uddin, who was a student at the time.

“We still have 37 widows in the village.”

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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