Bangladesh executes political figure
Islamic party official is hanged for crimes dating to the 1971 war.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Authorities executed a top Islamic party official Saturday for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s war of independence more than four decades ago, a senior police official said.
Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was hanged at the central jail in Dhaka, the capital, two years after he was sentenced to death, assistant police commissioner Mohammad Maruf told journalists.
The execution followed the dismissal of Kamaruzzaman’s appeal by the Supreme Court and his decision to not seek clemency from President Abdul Hamid.
His son, Hasan Iqbal, said Kamaruzzaman did not plead for clemency because the president was “nobody to give or take away a life.”
Kamaruzzaman was a senior assistant secretarygeneral of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh party. He led a militia that backed Pakistan during Bangladesh’s successful 1971 war of independence from that country and was convicted of playing a role in the deaths of scores of civilians.
Authorities executed another party leader, Abdul Quader Molla, in December 2013.
Syed Iftekhar Uddin, inspector general of Bangladeshi prisons, confirmed the execution, telling reporters that the hanging was completed about 10:30 p.m.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of people thronged the area after Kamaruzzaman’s family entered the prison to meet with him. Police took up positions in the area during the evening, and streets nearby were closed to traffic to avoid demonstrations.
Some people who had gathered at an intersection elsewhere in Dhaka burst into celebrations over news of the execution.
A RELATIVE, seen through a window, leaves the Dhaka jail after meeting with Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, convicted of playing a role in civilian deaths.