Bangladesh ex­e­cutes po­lit­i­cal fig­ure

Is­lamic party of­fi­cial is hanged for crimes dat­ing to the 1971 war.

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD - By Mo­hi­ud­din Kader Kader is a spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent.

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.

Mu­nir uz Za­man AFP/Getty Images

A REL­A­TIVE, seen through a win­dow, leaves the Dhaka jail af­ter meet­ing with Muham­mad Ka­maruz­za­man, con­victed of play­ing a role in civil­ian deaths.

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