152 People Sentenced to Death by Bangladesh Court For Mutiny

A special court in Bangladesh has handed out 152 death sentences in one of the largest trials in history

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Indrajit Ghosh / Demotix / Corbis

Bangladesh Rifles soldiers react as they leave the court premises following their verdict delivered by a special court in Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 5, 2013

More than 150 people were sentenced to death on Tuesday by a special court in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for their involvement in a 2009 mutiny.

Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol told Reuters that 152 people had been sentenced “for the heinous killing of the country’s brave sons.”

In 2009 the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), a paramilitary force associated with guarding Bangladesh’s borders, went on a two-day mutiny in the capital, Dhaka, in February.

The mutiny started because rank-and-file BDR solders were angry at the benefits and pay they received compared to senior officers. It spread to a dozen other towns and resulted in 74 deaths, reports Reuters. Among those killed was the Director General of the BDR and his wife. The mutiny ended after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s then newly elected government negotiated a settlement.

The trial began in 2011 after charges were filed against 801 members of the BDR in addition to 49 others. Baharul Islam, the lead prosecutor, said before the verdict “so far as we know it’s the largest case in the world’s history. There were 654 prosecution witnesses.”