Bangladesh, Dhaka: Yesterday, Bangladesh hanged Islamist party leader Motiur Rahman Nizami for genocide and other crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, the law minister said, risking an angry reaction from his supporters.
Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at Dhaka Central jail just after midnight, Law Minister Anisul Haq told Reuters, after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of top intellectuals during the war.
Nizami, 73, a former legislator and minister during opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s last term as prime minister, was sentenced to death in 2014. Hundreds of people flooded the streets of the capital, Dhaka, to cheer the execution. “We have waited for this day for a long 45 years,” said war veteran Akram Hossain. “Justice has finally been served.” But the war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 has sparked violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, that it is victimising Hasina’s political opponents.
Thousands of extra police and border guards were deployed in Dhaka and other major cities. Previous similar judgments and executions have triggered violence that killed around 200 people, mainly Jamaat activists and police. Five opposition politicians, including four Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, have been executed since late 2013 after being convicted by the tribunal.