05/11/2016, 09.41
BANGLADESH
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Head of the Jamaat-e-Islami is hanged

by Sumon Corraya

Motiur Rahman Nizami was executed yesterday. The leader of the largest Islamic party in the country refused to seek a presidential pardon, thus conceding his crimes. He was accused of committing genocide, rape and murder in the conflict for liberation from Pakistan in 1971. The Islamic party has called a general strike; the body of the deceased buried in his native village.

 

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Motiur Rahman Nizami, the head of the largest Islamic party in Bangladesh, was hanged yesterday in the central prison in the capital. The death sentence was carried out at 12:10, local time. In recent days, the Supreme Court had confirmed the Islamic leader’s death sentence, accused of committing war crimes during the war of liberation from Pakistan in 1971. Nizami refused to seek a pardon from President Abdul Hamid, thus conceding the crimes of which he was accused.

Nizami, 75, was the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami. At the time of the crimes attributed to him, he as leader of the party’s student wing, the Islami Chhatra Sangha. In 2000 he assumed the leadership of the most popular Islamic movement in the country, and from 2001 to 2006 he was Minister of Tourism under the Khaleda Zia government.


He has been in prison since 2010, and in 2014 the International Criminal Court, a special judicial body created by the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to punish war criminals, sentenced him to death.

The confirmation of the sentence came last week: the four chief judges found him guilty of having created the pro-Pakistan militia al-Badr, responsible of war crimes by working with the Pakistani army during the conflict that led to 'independence. Nizami in particular was accused of planning the murder of intellectuals, the rape of women and the deportation of the population, to both Pabna and Dhaka.

Following his execution, his party have called for a hartal [general strike, ed] today. On the contrary, there have been several demonstrations of exultation for his murder, even among the Christian community. Louis Rozario, a Christian freedom fighter, says: "I'm satisfied that Nizami has been executed. Justice has been done"

The body of the deceased leader of the Jamaat was transported by ambulance to his native village, where the burial ceremony was organized. This morning, at around 6:45 (local time), Nizami was buried in the village of Monmothpur, in Santhia in Pabna region. The janaza [the typical prayer of the Islamic funeral rites, ed] was led by the eldest son of the deceased, Najib Momen.

Some observers believe that the execution of the Islamic leader, and others before him, fall under a specific government plan, aimed at marginalizing the opposition and to physically eliminate their opponents through a form of  "political cleansing".

 

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