Syed Kaiser, death row convict in crimes against humanity, dies

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Dhaka, Feb 11: Syed Kaiser, a death row convict in crimes against humanity case and former state minister, passed away early Friday.

He breathed his last at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital, quoting his younger brother Faisal, lawyer Barrister Tanvir Al Amin and prosecutor Syed Haider Ali confirmed to media.

Public Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali confirmed the news to media citing Kaiser’s younger brother, Foysal.

“The body has been sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for autopsy. He [Kaiser] will be buried at the family graveyard at Karenoapara in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj,” said the prosecutor.

Kaiser, a former Jatiya Patry lawmaker and state minister, was sentenced to death by International Crimes Tribunal on 23 December 2014.

On 14 January 2020, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence handed down by the tribunal.

On 29 October of the same year, lawyer Tanvir Al Amin applied to the relevant branch of the Supreme Court for a review of Kaiser’s acquittal from capital punishment.

Charges of murder, rape and abduction against Kaiser were proven in the International Crimes Court.

In 1971, then Muslim League leader Kaiser formed “Kaiser Bahini” leading 500 to 600 men in collaboration with the Pakistani Army.

On 16 December 1971, just before the Pakistani forces surrendered, Kaiser fled to London. He returned in 1975 after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family.

In 1978, he became active in politics again and the next year, Kaiser was elected as an independent candidate from Sylhet-17 constituency in the second general election.

He later joined the BNP in his native home, Habiganj and eventually became the president of Habiganj BNP unit.

During the reign of HM Ershad, Kaiser he joined Jatiya Party and was elected MP two times from Habiganj-4 constituency in 1986 and 1988. He was made state minister for agriculture at that time.