Top Jamaat leader hanged in Bangladesh for war crimes

Published: December 12, 2013

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

DHAKA: After Bangladesh’s highest court upheld the death penalty for a top Jamaat-e-Islami leader convicted of war crimes, he was hanged on Thursday evening, according to reports on Bangladeshi television.

His execution comes just two days after he was given a dramatic last-minute reprieve from execution.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bangladesh Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Muzammel Hossain “dismissed” Abdul Quader Molla’s appeal for a final review of his death sentence, meaning he could be hanged.

“There is now no legal bar to execute him,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told AFP in the court, amid applause by pro-government lawyers.

On Tuesday night a judge had stayed the hanging of Molla, just 90 minutes before his scheduled execution at a jail in Dhaka, amid a global outcry over the fairness of his and other trials held for alleged war crimes.

Molla is the first person put to death for massacres committed during the 1971 war following a series of verdicts by a special war crimes court that have sparked deadly protests.

A key opposition leader, the 65-year-old was found to have killed some of Bangladesh’s top professors, doctors, writers and journalists.

Molla was convicted of rape, murder and mass murder, including the killing of more than 350 unarmed Bengali civilians.

Since Wednesday, the Supreme Court has heard an appeal on whether Molla could seek a review of the death sentence, with his lawyers arguing that he had “a constitutional right” to do so.

However Attorney General Alam told the court that there was “no scope for a review in war crimes cases”.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • R. Behlim
    Dec 12, 2013 - 2:50PM

    May Allah protect all those who Follow the path of rightness


  • Parvez
    Dec 12, 2013 - 3:41PM

    Bangladesh does what Bangladesh considers to be right.Recommend

  • Liberal
    Dec 12, 2013 - 4:04PM

    Say ‘NO’ to capital punishment


  • Ali
    Dec 12, 2013 - 4:09PM

    Death of justice and ethics


    Dec 12, 2013 - 4:28PM

    Would he be called a Shaheed??


  • MAD
    Dec 12, 2013 - 5:38PM

    Im afraid this may be Bangladesh shooting itself in the foot. Theyre making a martry where there was none before.


  • Umer
    Dec 12, 2013 - 5:42PM

    Why don’t all the supporters of JI present their arguments in a court of law if their arguments really have merit? Sitting here they can easily declare any guilty as innocent.


  • Imtiaz Hussain Advocate
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:14PM

    Nice way to divert the attention of people of Bangladesh from the socio-economic problems. Old practice of failing governments.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:51PM

    Instead of doing things piece meal, Bangladesh should formally ask the UN to constitute a War Crimes tribunal. All the war criminals from the 1971 genocide in what was then East Pakistan, including those from the Pakistan government who have escaped accountability since then, should be brought before the tribunal and given a fair trial. The people of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India as indeed the world needs to know clearly what happened during that tumultuous period in the subcontinent’s history.


  • Syed A. Mateen
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:54PM

    Why Bangladesh took so long time to execute Bangladesh’s Jaamat Islami leader Abdul Qadir Molla?

    If Molla committed war crimes then Bangladesh should have executed him long time back.

    After 42 years of Bangladesh independence the Jaamat-e-Islami leader which creates doubts in the minds of the readers whether his execution was right or not? Or it is just a political execution to ban Jaamat-e-Islami in Bangladesh?


  • Gülşah Güçyetmez
    Dec 12, 2013 - 10:27PM

    Do not say that those who are killed in the Way of Allah are dead. On the contrary, they are alive but you are not aware of it.


  • A2Z
    Dec 12, 2013 - 11:07PM

    Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Illaihe Rajioun,

    Miscarriage of justice to gain political mileage :(


  • kk
    Dec 12, 2013 - 11:22PM

    this is the dilemma of Muslim countries ,always looking and living in past.Germany and France have resolved there differences and moving forward, same was the case with Mandela’s truth and reconciliation policy,instead of hanging white population he made them part of his government and South Africa is developing.


  • sterry
    Dec 12, 2013 - 11:26PM

    @Parvez: Most folks just see this as an internal effort to get sympathy and play politics among different groups in Bangladesh. The instability there will not settle from these acts.


  • Rex Minor
    Dec 13, 2013 - 12:23AM

    This is not the dilemma of muslim countries but of the Barbarians from the Asian continent to the Americas and beyond where humanism has not taken firm roots nor fully understood.. . Shame on those who carry the label of a muslim( who promises to obey Gods commandments) but ignores the specific commandment of ” Though shall not kill” which Moses brought to the world. The capital punishment has been abolished in the European Union!

    Rex Minor


  • waqas
    Dec 13, 2013 - 12:26AM

    Thats the problem umer he was not given a chance to present himself in court due process of law have not been adopted


  • Lala Gee
    Dec 13, 2013 - 12:32AM

    “Molla was convicted of rape, murder and mass murder, including the killing of more than 350 unarmed Bengali civilians.”

    1- He seems to be the real Rambo for scoring alone 350, but only if you believe the official count.
    2- I could have believed the official accusations only if there were no charges of rapes.
    3- Hanging Molla will guarantee another Indra Gandhi like incident.
    4- This would be the beginning of the end of Bangladesh’s economic progress for short to medium term.
    5- The only benefactor of the situation in Bangladesh would be India, who has shrewdly orchestrated the current events using SHM’s lack of intelligence and vision.


  • amir
    Dec 13, 2013 - 1:18AM

    Bangladesh will face religious reaction from miscreants for some time but once that dust settle down, there will be a complete peace. As a matter of fact, where there is religious fanatism, there will be trouble.


  • Iron hand
    Dec 13, 2013 - 1:33AM

    Evil in the name of religion is still evil.


  • Mohammed
    Dec 13, 2013 - 1:36AM

    It’s a judicial murder. All allegations were politically motivated after 42 years


  • Laiq Khan
    Dec 13, 2013 - 2:00AM

    @KAYAY: due to this condition that he was against “MUKTI BAHNI”…he is “SHAHEED”….otherwise u can not call all those persons who died in 71 war…..


  • Laiq Khan
    Dec 13, 2013 - 2:06AM

    now see that what JI make agitation on streets n International humen rights plate form ,also in BD


  • Zwn
    Dec 13, 2013 - 4:48AM

    @Gaga Gee: “The only benefactor of the situation in Bangladesh would be India”.
    A country with people living below poverty line and dying. no toilets, economy in ruins. etc. bhah, blah can do so much and also control your “brothers” PTT, 1,000 consulates along Bloch, and causing rebellion and not to forget Karachi. To me India is greatt. USA pays Pakistan and still it gets double-cross.


  • Dec 13, 2013 - 5:07AM

    @Rex Minor: – “The capital punishment has been abolished in the European Union!”

    it is not necessary to follow EU’s practice on capital punishment. it is the perception how the crimes are being seen and deterrence adopted for it.


  • MK
    Dec 13, 2013 - 5:08AM

    Here are some inconsistencies in the trial, based on which Human rights tribunal has objected to the whole process.

    1) A newspaper report has been taken as evidence.

    2) His crime was “proved” without presenting the witness. Government appointed prosecutors didn’t bring witness against JI leaders at tribunal. Instead they brought written statements and audio records of what they claimed to be witnesses and submitted to the tribunal, and govt appointed judge took that as evidence. So there was no cross questioning of those witnesses.

    3) An other witness who was to be presented at the tribunal was abducted by security forces from the tribunal gate before giving witness on the behalf of cleric Delwar Hossain saydi. Tribunal gave death sentence to Saydi accusing that he killed the abducted person’s brother. Although that abducted person had come to tribunal to give witness that Delwar didn’t kill his brother. Later that abducted person was found in India.

    4) The falsehood of this tribunal and conspiracy of current govt throughout this trial was also evident from a leaked Skype conversation. Last year when London based news daily, The Economist leaked the Skype conversation between chief justice of this tribunal Nizamul Haque and a Bangladeshi Ex-pat nationalist lawyer Zia Uddin, who now lives in Belgium. In that conversation, chief justice of tribunal Nizamul haque said to Zia uddin that govt appointed him as chief justice to give death sentence to JI leader and he would also get promotion at supreme court. Chief justice also said to Zia uddin that this is not a tribunal rather a theatre and he is the main actor. Chief justice Nizamul Haque later resigned from this tribunal confessing that the conversation is true.

    Main opposition parties including Ex-PM Khalida Zia’s Centre Right BNP had already boycotted next elections even before this hanging, because they were demanding a caretaker government to conduct upcoming elections. They do not trust current government. Elections are scheduled for 5th of January next year. I see Bangladesh descending into chaos and perhaps even a military intervention in coming days.


  • WouldHaveBeenNoBetterThanAHomelessDog
    Dec 13, 2013 - 5:14AM

    Being a Bangladeshi I am appalled to read your comments of support about a mass murderer with living eyewitnesses. From the evidence at hand, I am EXTREMELY proud not to be one of you.


  • Kafka
    Dec 13, 2013 - 5:22AM

    A politically motivated judicial murder, which will follow more killings and will strengthen JI in coming elections.


  • M. Emad
    Dec 13, 2013 - 6:33AM

    Pakistan should try 1971 War Criminals living in Pakistan.


  • Syed Faisal
    Dec 13, 2013 - 7:20AM

    May Allah accept the myrterdom of Abdul Kadir Molla. Ameen


  • Raj - USA
    Dec 13, 2013 - 8:11AM

    All those commenting against the hanging of this butcher should read the testimony given to the court by a rape survivor, Momena. It will chill your bones.
    Qader Molla personally led a group of JI hooligans to the house of Momena. They killed Momena’s 2 year old brother, killed her pregnant mother by shooting her, slaughtered two of her sisters to death and killed one of her sister by gang raping her violently. They took away her father who is presumed to have been killed by Qader Molla. Momena herself was gang raped until she lost her consciousness. She survived to tell the truth to the court. This is just one of the several atrocious crimes that Qader Molla and his group had committed.

    The court proceedings were also very fair considering that Qadeer Molla was convicted earlier also but the court awarded life imprisonment. Bangladesh government with its 2/3rd majority only amended the laws to make it possible for the prosecution to appeal the sentence which they did. The court increased the sentence to execution. Most of Bangladesh’s citizens have welcomed Qader Molla’s execution as is evident from the several hundreds of thousands celebrating his execution in Dhaka’s Shahbagh intersection.

    Bangladesh government did the right thing.


  • Sandip
    Dec 13, 2013 - 8:12AM

    @SM: Sure. If you have credible proof, why not? Let’s see who did what, when and where.


  • Huzaifa K.L
    Dec 13, 2013 - 8:42AM

    @Sandip: you forgot to mention war criminals from india! However there is no use of involving UN in any disputes since it is only a puppet organization. UN also asked India to hold plebiscite in Kashmir so that people can decide their own future. But nothing happened. so don’t count on UN for anything.


  • Chacko Cherian Calicut
    Dec 13, 2013 - 8:49AM

    WOW!!Pakistanis cant stand justice being delivered to a criminal who terrorised his own people for political gains.What is more baffling is the opinion of liberal looking commentators.They want BD to behave like Pakistan where killers are praised and garlanded.BD is no more east pakistan to see everything through religious glasses.I would call on all those “liberal Pakistani commentators” to leave western countries move to Pakistan to lead your companions.They have to fill a big leadership void left by the deaths of OBL,Mullah Omar..

    ET-If truth is so bitter you wont publish this comment too like what happend to my earlier comments,regards


  • Liberal
    Dec 13, 2013 - 8:58AM

    @Umer: I also suggested JI supporters the same but they thought that the courts are sham and so do all international human rights organizations think. What now?


  • Dec 13, 2013 - 8:59AM

    He killed 350 unarmed persons thereby killing the innocent. Now there will be a ‘shaheed chowk’ and innumerable working hours will be lost. But why after 42 years of independence? Maybe, to hide national problems. Salams


  • Virkaul
    Dec 13, 2013 - 9:11AM

    @SM: Has Pakistan ever done self introspection over several blunders it committed in it’s 66 years of existence? It always has taken to the shortest route of dumping the blame on others. Why was Hamid Ur Rehman report suppressed or not brought out before the nation to know the truth? Was Bhutto trying to conceal facts from public? You know very well the discrimination Bengalis underwent despite they being far more educated and intellectually superior to their Punjabi counterparts. Bengalis fought for their culture and identity rather than religion. Pakistanis don’t learn from their mistakes and they repeat the Bangla episode in Balochistan and FATA and would blame CIA, RAW, Mossad and MI6 if these regions fall.


  • Zaheer Ahmed
    Dec 13, 2013 - 9:15AM

    Al Shams and Al Badar organizations were formed by patriotic Pakistanis (both Urdu and Bangla speaking) to protect the innocent civilians against atrocities of Mukti Bahini (a terrorist organization with training centres in India). It is shameful on part of Govt of Pakistan that it did not protest hanging of one such hero who saved lives of many.


  • Harris
    Dec 13, 2013 - 9:35AM

    Sad news! what the bengalis will gain from this? i believe more misery on their nation!


  • vasan
    Dec 13, 2013 - 9:37AM

    Good riddance. One down and many to go.


  • Dec 13, 2013 - 9:43AM

    I am not JI person but this decession was not fair.
    I do not believe the charges on him were right.
    It is only revenge of the government .


  • The Judgement Day
    Dec 13, 2013 - 10:33AM

    Please do not excuse any one who uses name of Islam to fulfill, to achieve and act to gain sympathy for the crimes committed by him or her.
    The man was hanged but those who made him commit the crimes are all free and enjoying every bit of life in remaining Pakistan.
    The 1971 war was not Islamic in any sense. Mujib won the election and was rightly claiming the executive post but those in the than West Pakistan had different game in their mind. Fearing the middle and lower middle class control and also fearing the loosening of Punjab Power they created a scenario to part ways the majority Bengalis.
    The “Sajish” started from day one of Independence of Pakistan from British rule. Punjab was all out against the than Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and others who had contributed their life for the independence from British rule and Hindu Majority. After “Disposing” Liaquat Ali Khan they slowly grabbed every key post. Finally seeing the rise of Middle and Lower middle class in the form of Bengali political party, the Punjabi establishment, Politician, Journalist and the so called religious parties and preachers decided to part ways with the eastern wing of Pakistan.
    Jamat-e-Islami instead of demanding the right of Mujib (purely in islamic principle) to rule both wings decided to collaborate with the Punjabi establishment and in order to save their faces termed their action Islamic.
    In Pakistan no body dared to ask them (Jamat-e-Islami) why they did not fought for the one who had legally contested the election and won to form the government in 1971. Why they fought along side the oppressors. Why they even accepted the illegal, illegitimate and corrupt (both morally and physically) government of Bhutto and later on started the Nizam-e-Mustafa movement to get rid of him. Instead they should have demanded a fair trial for all those who committed the huge crime both against Islam and Humanity.

    I have studied the claims these men/ women in Jamat made for the cause of Islam but unfortunately their actions are more of a :FITNA” which must be forcefully eliminated. Bangaldesh has stared this we should start it here in Pakistan.

    ET whether You like it or not, The Truth must be told


  • How about it
    Dec 13, 2013 - 10:50AM

    I do not see why we should mourn for those who used Islam for all the Un Islamic deed and crimes they committed.
    We know that Bengalis were right to demand the Government when Mujib won the election. Instead of using Islamic Priciples of Justice and equality the criminals and their collaborators in West Pakistan started committing crimes which in any case can not be endorsed both by Islamic Principles or by human society.
    So please donot confuse yourself if some one uses the name of Islam and try to justify his/her actions in order to legitimize his/ her sins.


  • Junaid
    Dec 13, 2013 - 10:54AM

    Wish the Pakistani government had the gumption to do what Bangladesh just did. Murder is murder, there is no such thing as righteous murder. Religion cannot and should not be used as justification. In the same vein, Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging should be carried out as a lesson for all those that think they’re above the law and subvert justice by declaring the innocence or guilt of individuals through personal judgement.


  • Observer
    Dec 13, 2013 - 11:05AM

    The History of East Pakistan, has a lot lessons for us in Pakistan. Some of these lessons are that force cannot prevail. The people of East Pakistan had aspirations after 1947, this never materialized. Their freedom, their aspirations, their economic well being, their progress, their dreams to a better future was blocked, if not greatly hampered by those who goverened, decision makers. People who made decisions had totally prejudiced, perceptions about East Pakistani’s, about Bengali’s, their culture, their language, their values. This was a gross misjudgement on those who made important decisions. The creation of Bangldesh was a right decision. The way this was brought about, thru war, thru so much suffering, so much hatred, was indeed something that could have been avoided. When people wish to live freely, those who have the force to stop this from happening, should contemplate, should think, should debate, not rush into war. This is the lesson for us in Pakistan.


    Dec 13, 2013 - 11:20AM

    Hasina Wajid will pay through her nose as did her father for such anti national crimes.


  • Muneer
    Dec 13, 2013 - 11:42AM

    Yes,including those from India and Bangla Desh.


  • Lala Gee
    Dec 13, 2013 - 12:10PM

    @The Judgement Day:

    “Fearing the middle and lower middle class control and also fearing the loosening of Punjab Power they created a scenario to part ways the majority Bengalis. The “Sajish” started from day one”

    Now this is interesting. We always believed that Bhutto was Sindhi, and Yahya and his predecessor Ayub were Pathan, but only now we discovered that they were in fact Punjabis. However, you’re right in saying that “Sajish” started from day one, and we know who was doing the “Sajish” from day one. Don’t we? How it could be any other than our truly neighbor who has very cordial relations with all her neighboring countries.


  • Saad
    Dec 13, 2013 - 12:17PM

    If JI is war criminal then why don’t Pak army who fought together against Mukti Bahani???


  • waqar
    Dec 13, 2013 - 2:08PM

    @R. Behlim:
    it just said he was convicted of murder & Rape…Are you kidding me… why would God help him


  • Umer
    Dec 13, 2013 - 5:56PM


    @Umer: I also suggested JI supporters the same but they thought that the courts are sham and so do all international human rights organizations think. What now?

    Which Pakistani court is not controversial? Should we stop obeying them? Every human rights organisation has criticised the discriminatory terms of the Pakistani constitution. When are you going to do away with that? You can’t have one standard for yourself and another for others.


  • FM
    Dec 13, 2013 - 6:39PM

    Ours isn’t bhutto land my friend


  • bajwa
    Dec 13, 2013 - 9:47PM

    Had Pakistan punished some of the mullahs then the situation in our country would have been very different today. Our politicians, lawyers and judges are coward. They should learn a lesson from their Bangladeshi counterparts. The biggest enemy of Pakistan is these mullahs, the biggest enemy of Islam is these mullahs. Sooner we get rid of these mullahs sooner we can revive our country.


  • MujibUr Rehman
    Dec 13, 2013 - 9:47PM

    I thought Pakistan will declare 10 days of national mourning over this martyr.


  • truthbetold
    Dec 13, 2013 - 11:43PM

    @Khurram Kaleem:

    “Pakistan should immediately cancel all yarn raw material supply to Bangladesh .”

    If you feel so much compassion for these mass murderers, how come you have not accepted as Pakistanis the half a million more of them (urdu speaking Beharis) who have been stranded in BD since 1971 living in squalid refugee camps?


  • Kaleem
    Dec 14, 2013 - 1:40AM

    Sheikh haseena is an Indian puppet just like her father.When he was released from a Pakistani jail soon after Fall of Dhaka, he didn’t go to Bangladesh first..he went to India straight away..thanked Indira Gandhi and described indians as best friends of Bengali nation..Why those butchers of Mukhti Bahini are not executed for war crimes and atrocities? They conspired with India to kill their own army men..Doesn’t that constitute war crimes? The only fault of Mullah was to support his own army in efforts to keep the country united. With just one witness, momena, who has got no credibility whatsoever as she previously gave self contradictory statements, it is a totally unfair trial. She was 13 years of age in 1971 and didn’t mention presence of Mullah during her family’s murder on previous occasions..Later she changed her statements. What about those leaked scandals of tribunal members’ collusion with awami league? This execution is the death of justice human rights.


  • rasgullah
    Dec 14, 2013 - 7:33AM

    Checkmate Pakistan. Getting squeezed from the east, west ,north and south.


  • Sibghat
    Dec 14, 2013 - 11:34AM

    @KAYAY: Yes indeed


  • 007isalive
    Dec 14, 2013 - 2:20PM

    Yes my brother ,indeed. If bangladeshis have any conscience they will put those murderer on trial and then hangedRecommend

  • Jan e Alam
    Dec 14, 2013 - 2:23PM

    Yes you are right!Recommend

  • Jan e Alam
    Dec 14, 2013 - 2:26PM

    You are right!Recommend

  • Kk
    Dec 14, 2013 - 3:35PM

    ET is doesn’t publish any comment that is against india


  • Fatimah Bint-e-Islam
    Dec 15, 2013 - 4:58PM

    and what about the killers of about 4 Lac Biharis? Who will bring them to courts?


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