Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami sentenced to death for war crimes

Oct 31, 2014 12:46 IST

Bangladesh fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party chief Matiur Rahman Nizami was on 29 October 2014 sentenced to death by Bangladesh war crimes tribunal for his role in the killing of thousands of people during the Bangladesh independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Nizami was already given death penalty in Chittagong arms haul case in January 2014 when he was then Industries Minister. However, on 29 October 2014, six more Jamaat leaders along with Nizami were awarded death sentences for crimes against humanity.

This long-awaited verdict was hailed by scores of political and social-cultural organisations.



Background

Motiur Rahman Nizami was the President of the then Jamaat student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha (now Islami Chhatra Shibir) that turned into the infamous auxiliary force Al Badr of Pakistan army in 1971.

Nizami as the key leader of the Al Badr killing squad, was involved in the torture, murder, rape and the training given to local Pakistani collaborators who went on to commit crimes against humanity.

Nizami misinterpreted the Koran Holy Book to encourage his followers to conduct a massive genocide and atrocities. Nizami was also found guilty of heading the Gestapo-like attacks largely around 14 December 1971 to eliminate the top Bengali professionals and intellectuals just two days before Bangladesh won its independence on 16 December.

The tribunal found that the Jamaat chief was criminally responsible for the execution for leading secular intellectuals and conspiracy to commit war crimes.

Moreover, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) framed 16 charges against Nizami in 2012. He was charged with conspiring with the Pakistani army, planning and inciting crimes; involvement in murders, rapes, looting and destruction of property and commissioning internationally recognised wartime crimes in 1971.

The ICT-1 found him guilty in eight out of 16 charges levelled against him. It took around one-and-a-half years for the completion of the trial.

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