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Dhaka: Bangladesh sentenced 20 university students to death on Wednesday for the brutal 2019 murder of a young man who criticised the government on social media.

The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in his university dormitory hours after he wrote a Facebook post slamming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing a water-sharing deal with India.

He was beaten with a cricket bat and other blunt objects for six hours by 25 fellow students who were members of the ruling Awami League's student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL). "I am happy with the verdict," Fahad's father Barkat Ullah told reporters outside court after the verdict. "I hope the punishments will be served soon."

Prosecutor Abdullah Abu told AFP that the remaining five perpetrators were sentenced to life imprisonment.All those handed death sentences were between 20 and 22 years old and attended the elite Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology alongside Fahad.

Three of the defendants are still at large while the rest were in courtroom. A lawyer for the defendants said the sentence would be appealed.




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