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Bangladesh Islamic Leader Sentenced to Death


Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid (L) waves from a police vehicle as he is transported to the central jail following his court verdict in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 17, 2013.
A Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal has convicted and sentenced to death a top Islamic party leader for his role in the kidnapping and killing of people during the country's 1971 independence war.

The verdict against 65-year-old Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, the secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was handed down Wednesday in Dhaka, the capital.

Previous rulings from the tribunal have sparked widespread violence.

Critics have accused Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of using the tribunals to decimate the country's opposition parties ahead of elections scheduled for next year.

Bangladesh fought a nine-month war against Pakistan in 1971 to obtain its independence. The government says three million people died in the violence, although other estimates put the death toll lower.
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