Bangladesh parliament amends war crime law
[GUARDIAN.CO.UK] Bangladesh's parliament has amended a law allowing the state to appeal against the life sentence given to an opposition leader for his role in mass killings and rape during the 1971 war for independence.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in central Shahbag Square cheered as the assembly approved the changes on Sunday.

Protesters have gathered in central Dhaka for the past 13 days demanding the death penalty for Abdul Quader Mollah, an assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
party, for war crimes. The prominent Islamist was given a life sentence by a tribunal last month, stunning many Bangladeshis.

The amendment will "empower the tribunals to try to punish any organizations, including Jamaat-e-Islami, for committing crimes during the country's liberation war in 1971", the law minister, Shafique Ahmed, said

The government is facing growing pressure to ban Jamaat-e-Islami and groups linked to it. Ahmed told news hounds the government was considering such a ban.

Lawyers said Sunday's amendment sets a timetable for the government to appeal against Mollah's sentence and secure a retrial. The previous law did not allow state prosecutors to call for a retrial except in the case of acquittals.
Posted by: Fred 2013-02-18