Bangladesh executed a top Jamaat-e-Islami party figure on Saturday for atrocities he allegedly committed during the country's 1971 war of independence, Law Minister Anisul Haq said on Saturday.
Mir Quasem Ali was executed at Kashimpur Central Jail on the outskirts of the capital at 10.35pm local time.
Ali was a key financier of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. He was found guilty of murder, confinement, torture and incitement to religious hatred during the war fought to break away from Pakistan.
The death penalty was handed down two years ago by the International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka. Ali attempted to appeal the ruling but this was rejected by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
The war crimes tribunal was set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 to look into abuses during the independence war. It has been criticised by international human rights groups for falling short of international standards.
The court has drawn criticism from opposition politicians, who say it is targeting Hasina’s political opponents.
The government denies these accusations.
Thousands of extra police were deployed in Dhaka and other major cities as the execution is expected to spark huge reaction from Ali’s supporters.
Since December 2013, five Jamaat-e-Islami party leaders have been executed for alleged war crimes. The previous executions triggered violence resulting in the deaths of about 200 people in total.