Four killed in clashes after Islamist leader executed

Four killed in clashes after Islamist leader executed

By David Bergman, Dhaka and Dean Nelson in New Delhi

1:53PM GMT 13 Dec 2013

Bangladesh was rocked by a wave of violence as four people were killed in clashes following the execution of an Islamic political leader convicted of war crimes in the country’s 1971 war of liberation.

Supporters of Abdul Quader Mollah, a senior leader of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami Party, torched shops, businesses, and attacked members of the Hindu minority in protest at his execution just after 10pm on Thursday night. But supporters of the sentence who gathered in Dhaka’s Shahbag Square sang songs in celebration after learning of his execution.

Mr Mollah, the so-called ‘Butcher of Mirpur’ had been convicted in Bangladesh’s controversial International Crimes Tribunal to try those responsible for the deaths of three million it claims were murdered in the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. He was convicted of murdering a family of six in Mirpur on the evidence of a woman who was 13 at the time and at one stage said she had not been present when her parents and siblings were killed.

Mr Mollah is one of 10 Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders convicted of war crimes and the first of five sentenced to death to be executed. The decision to hang him was taken after the country’s Supreme Court dismissed his final review petition and despite pleas from Britain and the United Nation to commute the sentence.

His death sentence was strongly criticised by Britain and other countries because it was imposed retrospectively after the government changed the law to allow it to appeal against his initial sentence of life imprisonment.



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