Bangladesh official says Islamist party leader executed

NEW DELHI (AP) — A top Islamist party leader convicted of war crimes involving Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan was executed late Saturday, an official said.

Jail Superintendent Proshanto Kumar Bonik said that Mir Quasem Ali, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at 10:30 p.m. (local time) Saturday, hours after family members met him inside Kashimpur jail near the capital, Dhaka.

Ali did not seek presidential clemency, paving the way for his hanging.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal for reviewing his death sentence handed out by a special tribunal two years ago.

Ali is the fifth Jamaat-e-Islami party leader to be executed since 2010 when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formed the special tribunal to try suspected war criminals. Also executed was a close aide of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Jamaat-e-Islami is a key partner of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the opposition against Hasina.

Hasina’s government says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women in the 1971 independence war.

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