Bangladesh hangs two politicians for 1971 war crimes

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Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the executions of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, 66, of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, 67, of the Bangladesh Jammat-e-Islami party, were carried out at Dhaka Central Jail in the early hours of Sunday.

“A black chapter of Bangladesh ended as justice was done,” the minister told reporters.

They were hanged hours after President Abdul Hamid rejected a petition by the defendants for clemency.

Chowdhury, a former lawmaker of the BNP, and Mujahid, a former minister of the then BNP-led coalition government between 2001 and 2006, filed the petitions as they had exhausted all other legal procedures.

A special war crimes tribunal, set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010, convicted both Chowdhury and Mujahid of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity committed during the nine-month armed struggle in 1971.

Bangladesh’s earlier initiative to prosecute war crimes was called off after the 1975 assassination of the country’s founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was Hasina’s father.

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