Feb. 7 - Thousands of Bangladeshis demanded the execution of a convicted war criminal sentenced to life in prison for war crimes, in a series of trials that have reopened old wounds from a 1971 conflict. Mana Rabiee reports.
Angry calls for justice in Bangladesh. Thousands of protesters took to the streets Thursday, demanding the execution of a convicted war criminal, after he was sentenced instead to life in prison. They called for the hanging death of this man -- 64 year-old Islamist leader Abdul Quader Mollah, seen here Tuesday surrounded by security guards during his sentencing. His charges included murder, rape and torture during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence with Pakistan -- a conflict that cost three million lives. His verdict is the second in a series of trials that have reopened old wounds. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTIVIST, RONEY, SAYING: "I am one of the online activists. We are protesting against the judgment of life sentence of one war criminal Mr. Quader Mollah. Now we are here, we are protesting in demand of his hanging till death." (SOUNDBITE) (Bengali) MEDICAL STUDENT, SUMAIYA NAWSHIN, SAYING: "I am a medical student and we all friends have joined this rally to show our solidarity. We the new generation demand death penalty for war criminals, no alternative punishment like life sentence. We demand only death sentence because for the crimes they committed, this punishment is not enough." A former senior leader from the conflict was sentenced to death for similar crimes and eight others remain on trial. But protesters hoping Abdul Quader Mollah will hang for his crimes may have to be satisfied instead with his execution in effigy.