Bangladesh's Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Islamist leader for 1971 war crimes

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Bangladesh's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a senior Islamist leader who was convicted by a special tribunal last year for his role in mass killings and other serious crimes during the country's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.

Monday's decision means Mohammad Qamaruzzaman will be hanged within months. Qamaruzzaman is a senior leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's largest Islamist political party.

Bangladesh blames Pakistani soldiers and local collaborators for the deaths of 3 million people during the nine-month 1971 war. An estimated 200,000 women were raped and about 10 million people were forced to take shelter in refugee camps in neighboring India.

Since 2010, the special tribunal has convicted 12 people, mostly senior leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, which had openly campaigned against independence but denied committing atrocities.