A Bangladesh court on Monday sentenced five convicts to death for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. The International Crimes Tribunal's three-member panel of judges led by Justice Shahinur Islam announced the verdict, reports bdnews24.
The five were sentenced for killing 17 people, vandalism, arson, abduction and torture in Itabaria village of Patuakhali during war. They were also sentenced to death for the rape of at least 15 women from the same village.
The court said that the convicts had used rape as a weapon and that their victims had to live with the repercussions of those attacks for the rest of their lives.
"These women are our true war heroes. It is time to recognise them," the tribunal said in the verdict. The convicts will however be able to appeal against the ruling at the Supreme Court within a month of the verdict.
According to the prosecution, all the convicts were supporters of Conventional Muslim League prior to 1971, but they were involved with the local wing of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) at the time of their arrests in 2015.
The Tribunal had indicted them on March 8, 2017.