Party calls for strike in Dhaka
Bangladesh has executed a top extremist party leader convicted of war crimes involving the nation’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan, officials said.
Mir Quasem Ali, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at 10.30pm on Saturday, hours after several dozen family members and relatives met him for the last time inside Kashimpur Central Jail near the capital, Dhaka, according to Proshanto Kumar Bonik, a senior jail superintendent.
“We are doing our necessary formalities now. We will send the body soon to the ancestral home in Manikganj district for burial,” Bonik said.
Immediately after the execution, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said security measures were put in place to prevent unrest by Ali’s supporters, including deployment of paramilitary border guards and additional police in Dhaka and other cities.
The Jamaat-e-Islami party in a statement protested Ali’s execution and called for an eighthour general strike today.
The execution took place a day after Ali refused to seek presidential clemency. The president had previously rejected appeals for clemency by other extremist party leaders facing execution.
Last week, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal for reviewing Ali’s death sentence handed out by a special tribunal two years ago.
A special tribunal dealing with war crimes sentenced Ali to death in November 2014. The 63-year-old was found guilty on eight charges, two of which carried the death sentence, including the abduc- tion and murder of a young man in a torture chamber. Ali was sentenced to 72 years in prison on the other charges.
He built his fortune by establishing businesses in real estate, shipping and banking, and he was considered one of the party’s top financiers.