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Bangladesh Sentences 152 Soldiers To Die Over Mutiny

A Bangladeshi border guard cries inside a prison van as he leaves a special court after a verdict in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday. The court sentenced 152 people to death for a 2009 mutiny by disgruntled border guards who killed dozens of military commanders during a brutal, two-day uprising.

A court in Bangladesh has handed down the death penalty for 152 soldiers in connection with a mutiny by border guards in 2009.

The Associated Press says that "the sentences followed a mass trial involving 846 defendants — a process criticized by a human rights group who said it was not credible and that at least 47 suspects died in custody."

According to Bangla News 24, some 160 others received life sentences plus an additional 10 years, and 263 soldiers got terms of between three years and 17 years. More than 270 people were acquitted. Four of the accused died during the trial.

The BBC notes that the soldiers have already been jailed by military tribunals for the mutiny over better pay and working conditions. Here's more:

"The 30-hour uprising over pay and other grievances broke out in Dhaka and left 74 people dead, 57 of them officers.

"The mutiny began at the Bangladeshi Rifles Headquarters in the capital. Senior officers were killed and their bodies dumped in sewers and shallow graves.

"The revolt spread to other army bases around the country before being put down. Nearly 6,000 soldiers have already been jailed by military courts.

"Many soldiers who packed into the special civilian court in Dhaka on Tuesday were charged with murder, torture, conspiracy and other offences."

The judge in the case called the incidents committed "heinous," but added the soldiers should get better pay and benefits.

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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