War criminal Syed Mohammad Qaisar has died at the age of 85, the Daily Star reports.
According to the outlet, Qaisar died naturally while receiving medical treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Who was he?
Qaisar was a big name in Bangladeshi politics from 1979 to 1988. He served as a state minister and as a member of the Bangladesh parliament.
His war criminal status stems from his actions during the Bangladesh Liberation War, which took place in the early 1970s. At the time, Bangladesh was East Pakistan and it was trying to free itself from West Pakistan.
This resulted in the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, where between 300,000 and 3,000,000 Bangladeshi people were killed and between 200,000 and 400,000 Bangladeshi women were raped.
What did he do?
In 2009, Bangladesh created the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh to investigate and prosecute those involved in the 1971 genocide. Qaisar was among the suspects.
During the war, Qaisar is said to have formed a militia group called Qisar Bahini, which he named after himself. This militia, the tribunal found, helped to carry out the atrocities committed by West Pakistan against the people of Bangladesh.
That tribunal, in 2014, after substantiating the charges against Qaisar, sentenced him to death for the crimes of rape, arson, and mass murder. This death sentence, however, was never carried out, and now it never will be now that Qaisar has died of natural causes.
In recent years, Qaisar had filed a petition seeking a review of his death penalty conviction. That review has been pending in the appellate division of the country’s Supreme Court.
Now that Qaisar is dead, his lawyer says that the appellate court “will declare his review petition abated and will exempt him from the case.” He said that this will happen once he informs the court of Qaisar’s death.
It is certainly not the conclusion to the situation that Qaisar’s accusers and victims would have been seeking. He managed to avoid, at least here on earth, the consequences of his actions. And, it appears that his end was more conformation than a convicted war criminal’s probably should have been.
But, at least it’s an end.