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Opposition Leader Executed in Bangladesh

An Islamist opposition leader convicted of war crimes has been executed in Bangladesh.

A reporter for VOA said prison authorities carried out the execution of Abdul Qader Mollah at 10:01 p.m. local time Thursday. Earlier reports had the time of execution at 10:14 p.m.

The Bangladeshi government has not issued any statement. Crowds of protesters were swelling outside the jail as an ambulance took Mollah's body from the prison.

The court turned down a request for a review of the death penalty by the legal team for Abdul Qader Mollah, who was set to be hanged late Tuesday before his lawyers secured a postponement.

Mollah was convicted of committing war crimes during the nation's war of independence against Pakistan in 1971. Critics had feared his execution could begin a fresh wave of political violence before national elections set for next month.

Earlier, Mollah's party, Jamaat-e-Islami, has issued a statement warning of "dire consequences" if he were executed.



New York based Human Rights Watch has warned that by executing Mollah without reviewing the death sentence, Bangladesh could be breaking international law.

Jamaat-e-Islami sided with the Pakistan army during a bloody civil war that led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party says three million people died in the war. Independent researchers put the death toll between 300,000 to 500,000.




"The defense council of the accused, Abdul Quader Mollah, has filed for the review petition under article 105 and that has been dismissed by the honorable appellate court of Bangladesh Supreme Court, and now the execution can be proceeded as per rules."

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