A veteran Islamic leader dies in prison while another is given a death sentence.

Professor Ghulam Azam, the veteran leader of Jamaat Islami of Bangladesh passed away on 23 October at the age of 91 in prison while current chief of Jamaat Islami, Motiur Rahman Nizami, 71 was handed down a death sentence on 29 October.

A number of Jamaat Islami, Bangladesh leaders are being tried by the special Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal set up by the Awami League government for alleged crimes against humanity back in 1971.

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The government has been criticised for using the tribunal to persecute opposition leaders and a number of human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have issued statements against the tribunal for its failure to adhere to due process of the law.

The defence has called it a politically motivated witch hunt.

Ghulam Azam fought for the restoration of Bengali as a state language and jointly formed Pakistan Democratic Alliance against Pakistani military dictatorships together with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He was ostracised for not supporting the breakup of Pakistan and was stripped of his citizenship, after the creation of Bangladesh, which was later restored by the Supreme Court.

He was succeeded by Motiur Rahman Nizami in 2000, as the chief of the Jamaat Islami party that formed the ruling coalition with Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and served as a minister from 2001-2006.