Bangladeshi authorities hang senior leader of Islamic party

Bangladeshi authorities execute senior official from Islamic party for crimes against humanity during '71 war

Bangladeshi authorities executed a top Islamic party official on Saturday for crimes against humanity committed during the nation’s war of independence more than four decades ago, a senior police official said.

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was hanged at the central jail in the capital, Dhaka, 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 nation’s 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 secretary-general 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, the inspector general of Bangladeshi prisons, confirmed the execution, telling reporters outside the facility 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 at the execution.

Kader is a special correspondent.

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