The accusation compared Azam to Adolph Hitler for his role as a guide in the massacres and crimes against humanity during the nine-month war that led to the creation of Bangladesh, according to the news agency AFP. The Islamist leader’s defence said the charges have not been proven and they are contesting the court’s verdict.
“We did not get justice. We will appeal against the verdict,” defence lawyer Saifur Rahman told reporters.
When the verdict was announced, deadly street violence erupted across Bangladesh where Jamaat activists, armed with homemade bombs, clashed with police firing rubber bullets. The Islamist party called for a nationwide strike, claiming that these trials are created to eliminate the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, key of the opposition against the current government in Bangladesh.
Its tragic to know that fake tribunal has sentenced Prof Ghulam Azam for 90 years in prison without any legitimate proof and reason.
Ghulam Azam is seen by many as a spiritual leader and an Islamic thinker. During the 1971 war between Bangladesh and Pakistan, Azam was strongly opposed to Bangladesh’s independence saying it would divide the Muslim community. His defence lawyers said the charges against him are based on newspaper reports of his speeches during the war and have not been proven. Azam and other Jamaat leaders have denied involvement in abuses and crimes.