Bangladesh Executes Top Islamic Official for Genocide, Rape

AP Photo/Khurshed Rinku
AP Photo/Khurshed Rinku

Bangledeshi authorities executed Jamaat-e-Islami party official Muhammad Kamaruzzaman for crimes against humanity during the country’s war of independence forty years ago. He was hanged two years after he was sentenced to death.

“Mohammad Kamaruzzaman has been executed at 10:30 pm Bangladesh time (1630 GMT),” said Law and Justice Minister Anisul Huq.

Kamaruzzaman was the party’s senior assistant secretary general during the war. The Guinness Book of Records included the list of war crimes committed by the party against Pakistan “as among the five deadliest” in the 20th century.

The prosecution claimed Kamaruzzaman organized Al-Badr, “a militant outfit formed to assist the Pakistan army to thwart Bangladesh’s freedom struggle in 1971.” The courts argued the force committed genocide, killing, rape, looting, and arson. Here are a few of the crimes:

Genocide at Shohaghpur

On July 25, 1971, planned and advised by Kamaruzzaman, the Pakistan Army, aided by Al-Badr and Razakar, surrounded Shohagpur village at Nalitabari in Sherpur and killed 120 men and raped women of the village.

Killing of eight

Members of the Al-Badr captured Liakat Ali and 11 others from Chawkbazar at Sherpur in the middle of the Ramadan during the war. All but three were shot dead in presence of Kamaruzzaman.

Repression of Didar and others

The Al-Badr picked up one Didar and several others and took them to the Mymensingh district bungalow in November 1971. They were tortured until they agreed to speak in favour of Pakistan.

The United Nations and European Union advised Bangladesh not to execute Kamaruzzaman. The Jamaat party claimed the trial had not been fair to him; the UN specifically said his “trial did not meet ‘fair international’ standards.”

Citizens cheered outside of the jail after the magistrate announced Kamaruzzaman dead. People “made victory signs” as they celebrated the death of a “war butcher.”

Kamaruzzaman’s family members met with him before the execution.

“We found him in good health and not worried about his fate at all,” explained his son Hasan Iqbal. “In his last comments, he regretted he did not see the victory of Islamic movement in Bangladesh. But he was confident it would be victorious here one day.”


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