Execution of a top leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for war crimes in Bangladesh could lead to reprisal attacks on minority communities, especially Hindus, a leading human rights watchdog has warned.
Bangladesh executed Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah, infamous as the "Butcher of Mirpur", for 1971 war crimes last night, making him the first politician to be hanged for such crimes. "At this volatile time many people including minority Hindus are at risk of reprisal attacks....they are at particular risk of violence now the execution has been carried out," said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International's Bangladesh Researcher.
"Authorities must ensure that anyone at risk, especially Hindus are given the protection they need at this tense time. Whole villages were burned down in the violence against Hindus this year and no one has been brought to justice," he said in a statement.
"It is also crucial that all politicians in Bangladesh make it crystal clear to their supporters to refrain from human rights abuses, and that attacks on Hindu communities are unacceptable," said Faiz.
Jamaat cadres have targeted Hindus over the International Crimes Tribunal trials of the party's leaders relating to the 1971 liberation war. Many of the prosecution witnesses have been Hindus.