Motiur Rahman Nizami

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Motiur Rahman Nizami
Motiur Rahman Nizami (1943–2016).jpg
Leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami
In office
Preceded by Ghulam Azam
Succeeded by None
Minister of Agriculture
In office
10 October 2001 – 22 May 2003
Minister of Industries
In office
22 May 2003 – 28 October 2006
Member of Parliament
for Pabna-1
In office
1 October 2001 – 28 October 2006
Preceded by Professor Abu Sayed
Succeeded by Md. Shamsul Haque
Majority 135,982 (57.68%)
In office
27 February 1991 – 16 February 1996
Succeeded by Abu Sayed
Majority 55,707 (36.85%)
Personal details
Born (1943-03-31)31 March 1943
Santhia Upazila, Pabna, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died 11 May 2016(2016-05-11) (aged 73)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Cause of death Hanging (capital punishment)
Political party Jamaat-e-Islami
Spouse(s) Shamsunnahar Nizami
Alma mater University of Dhaka
Profession Politician, scholar
Religion Islam

Motiur Rahman Nizami (Bengali: মতিউর রহমান নিজামী; 31 March 1943 – 11 May 2016)[1][2] was a Bangladeshi politician, preacher, and the former leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He was the Member of Parliament of Pabna constituency from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006.[1] He also served as the Bangladeshi Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Industry. On 29 October 2014, he was convicted and sentenced to death for war crimes in 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh.[3] It has been considered that he was the supreme commander of the militia group Al-Badr during the Bangladesh Liberation War.[4]

While various political entities and international organizations[5] had originally welcomed the trials,[6][7][8] in November 2011 Human Rights Watch criticized the government for aspects of their progress, lack of transparency, and reported harassment of defense lawyers and witnesses representing the accused.[9][10][11] Nizami was the last high-profile suspect to be tried for 1971 war crimes; the court delayed his verdict in June 2014 because of the state of his health.[12]

In 2004, Nizami was convicted under separate charges for arms trafficking to the state of Assam, India and was sentenced to death, along with 13 other men in January 2014.[13]

He was hanged at Dhaka Central Jail on 11 May 2016.[14] He is the third minister of Bangladesh to be hanged.[15] He was frequently listed on The 500 Most Influential Muslims.[16][17]

Early life and education[edit]

Nizami was born on 31 March 1943 in the village of Monmothpur of Santhia Upazila at Pabna. His father was Lutfur Rahman Khan. He completed his secondary education at a madrasa. In 1963, he got his Kamil degree in Islamic jurisprudence from Madrasa-e-Alia in Dhaka. He earned his bachelor's from the University of Dhaka in 1967.[1]

Political career[edit]

Nizami rose in the ranks of the East Pakistan branch of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in the 1960s, having led the student organization, Islamic Chhatro Shango (now Islami Chhatro Shibir). After the independence of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first president, banned Jamaat from political participation as it had opposed the liberation, and many of its members collaborated with the Pakistan Army during the conflict. Nizami and some other top leaders left the country.

Following the assassination by military officers of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975, Ziaur Rahman became president in a coup in 1977. He permitted top Jamaat leaders,[18] such as Ghulam Azam and Nizami,[citation needed] to return to Bangladesh in 1978; they revived the Jamaat party, which became the largest Islamist party in the country. Nizami emerged as a key leader of the Jamaat, organising the Islami Chhatra Shibir (Jammat Students Organisation), which serves as the youth wing of the Jamaat.

In 1991, he was elected as a Member of Parliament, representing Jamaat-e-Islami for the constituency of Pabna-1; he was Jamaat's Parliamentary Party leader until 1994.[19] During the 1996 elections, he lost to the candidates of both the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), an ally of Jamaat, and the Awami League in his constituency. Professor Abu Sayed of the Awami League gained his seat.

In 1971, Nizami was chief of infamous Al-Badr militia.[20] Along with Pakistan army, this militia prepared a plan to abduct and kill Bengali intellectuals including professors, journalists, litterateurs, doctors and pro-Bangladesh activists in general.[21][22]

Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami[edit]

Nizami took over as the leader of Jamaat from Ghulam Azam in 2001.[23] In the same year, representing his party as part of a four-party alliance including BNP, Nizami won a seat in Parliament in Pabna-1, receiving 57.68% of the votes.[24] From 2001 to 2003, he served as the Minister of Agriculture, then as the Minister of Industry from 2003 to 2006.

Nizami was defeated in the December 2008 general election as a candidate of the Four-Party Alliance, losing his seat for Pabna-1 to Md. Shamsul Haque of the Awami League. Nizami received 45.6% of the votes. The Awami League took two-thirds of the seats in Parliament.


Allegations of corruption[edit]

In May 2008, the Anti-corruption Commission of Bangladesh indicted Nizami in the GATCO Corruption case, in which he along with several other politicians are alleged to have illegally granted a container-depot contract to the local firm GATCO.[25] A warrant was issued to arrest Nizami along with 12 others on May 15, 2008.

Nizami was charged with conspiring with 12 other politicians to award the contract to GATCO although the company did not meet the conditions of the tender. The prosecution alleged that the deal with GATCO caused a total loss of more than 100 million Bangladeshi Taka to the Government.[26] Nizami denied the charges and said they were politically motivated.[27] He was released after two months on bail.

Blasphmey charges[edit]

In a public speech on March 17, 2010, the Dhaka Jamaat chief, Rafiqul Islam, compared Nizami's life to that of the Prophet Muhammad, persisting in the face of persecution. On March 21, the Bangladesh Tariqat Federation sued Rafiqul, Nizami and other Jamaat members "for hurting Islamic sentiments of the masses by comparing Nizami with the Prophet".[28]

Nizami, along with three other senior Jamaat leaders, was arrested on charges on March 29, 2010.[29] He secured bail the next day and appealed for dismissal of the case on February 14, 2011. The High Court adjourned the case for four months in March 2011.[29]

Smuggling charges[edit]

On May 4, 2011, Nizami was arrested on allegations of smuggling arms to Assamese insurgents in India in 2004.[30] His bail petition on 7 September 2011 was denied.[31]

On January 30, 2014, Nizami and 13 co-conspirators were sentenced to death by hanging after being found guilty of smuggling arms.[32]

International Crimes Tribunal[edit]

GonoJagoron Moncho is demanding death penalty of Motiur Rahman Nizami on May 04, 2016.

In 2009, the Awami League-led Bangladesh government established a tribunal in Bangladesh to investigate those suspected of committing atrocities during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Nizami and eight other leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami were charged with war crimes by the prosecution, as were two leaders of the Bangladesh National Party. Opposition parties and human rights groups alleged political interference in the trial, given that all the accused were leading opposition politicians.[33] Nizami was the last high-profile suspect to be tried for 1971 war crimes; the court delayed his verdict in June 2014 because of the state of his health.[12] On 29 October 2014, it was announced that Nizami had been sentenced to death for war crimes committed during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.[34]


Nizami was hanged at a prison in Dhaka, just days after the nation's highest court dismissed his final appeal to overturn the death sentence for atrocities committed during the country's 1971 war. He was hanged just before midnight (1800 GMT) after he refused to seek mercy from the President of Bangladesh. He was executed between 11:50 pm and 12:01 am midnight.[35]


 Pakistan:Pakistan's foreign office said in statement that "Pakistan is deeply saddened over the hanging of the emir of Jamaat-i-Islami Bangladesh, Mr Motiur Rahman Nizami, for the alleged crimes committed before December 1971. His only sin was upholding the constitution and laws of Pakistan".[36]

 Turkey:Turkey condemns execution of Moti ur Rehman Nizami[37] and withdraw Turkish Ambassador from Bangladesh.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mohiuddin Faruq (May 5, 2016). "Noose tightens on Nizami for war crimes as Bangladesh Jamaat chief loses last legal battle". Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for 1971 war crimes to protect Pakistan". Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  3. ^ "Bangladesh Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami sentenced to death". BBC News. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Karlekar, Hiranmay (13 December 2005). Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan?. Sage. p. 152. ISBN 978-0761934011. 
  5. ^ "EU supports war crime trial, wants fairness". The Daily Star. 
  6. ^ Adams, Brad (18 May 2011). "Letter to the Bangladesh Prime Minister regarding the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act". Human Rights Watch. 
  7. ^ Ullah, Ansar Ahmed (3 February 2012). "Vote of trust for war trial". The Daily Star. 
  8. ^ Haq, M. Zahurul (5 August 2011). M.N. Schmitt; Louise Arimatsu; T. McCormack, eds. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law - 2010 (1st ed.). Springer. p. 463. ISBN 978-9067048101. 
  9. ^ "Bangladesh: Stop Harassment of Defense at War Tribunal". Human Rights Watch. 2 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Karim, Bianca; Tirza Theunissen (29 September 2011). Dinah Shelton, ed. International Law and Domestic Legal Systems: Incorporation, Transformation, and persuasion. Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0199694907. 
  11. ^ Ghafour, Abdul (31 October 2012). "International community urged to stop 'summary executions' in Bangladesh". Arab News. 
  12. ^ a b "Bangladesh war crimes: verdict on Jamaat-e- Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami deferred", DNA India, 24 June 2014
  13. ^ "Bangladesh Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami to hang", BBC News, 30 January 2014, accessed 5 October 2014
  14. ^ "Nizami executed". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  15. ^ "Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for 1971 war crimes to protect Pakistan". Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  16. ^ Schleifer, S. Abdallah (ed.). The Muslim 500: The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2013/14 (PDF). Amman: Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. p. 145. ISBN 978-9957-428-37-2. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  17. ^ S Abdallah Schleifer. "The Muslim 500 : The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims" (PDF). The Muslim 500. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Explain what is 'Hanadar Bahini'". The Daily Star. 2015-12-14. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  19. ^ Biography, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.
  20. ^ "War crimes cWar crimes charges against pro-Pakistan militia commander Nizami who headed Bangladesh Jamaat". Bangladesh. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  21. ^ Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary; Wasim Bin Habib; Mahbubur Rahman Khan (29 October 2014). "Operated like Gestapo". The Daily Star. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "Al-Badr's onus on Nizami | Dhaka Tribune". May 11, 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  23. ^ "Prof. Ghulam Azam Retires", Islamic Voice, December 2006.
  24. ^ "Online Election Results for Pabna-1" Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., BD Needs.
  25. ^ "Bangladesh orders arrest of Islamist party chief", Reuters, May 15, 2008.
  26. ^ "12 'fugitives' face arrest order", The Daily Independent, Bangladesh, 16 May 2008
  27. ^ "Bangladeshi religious leader held", BBC News, May 19, 2008.
  28. ^ [1], The Daily Star
  29. ^ a b RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT: "Proceeding against Nizami, Mojaheed put off" Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., BDNews 24
  30. ^ "Court asks for Nizami's arrest" Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., The Independent (Bangladesh), 5 May 2011
  31. ^ "Nizami denied bail". 7 September 2011. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2011. 
  32. ^ "Bangladesh court sentences JI chief to death", The Express Tribune, 30 January 2014
  33. ^ "Bangladesh War-Crime Tribunal Bogs Down". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  34. ^ "Bangladesh Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami sentenced to death". BBC News. 29 October 2014. 
  35. ^ "Bangladesh executes top Jamaat leader Motiur Rahman over '1971 war crimes' - Dawn". Dawn. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  36. ^ The Newspaper's Staff Reporter. "Pakistan condemns BD JI chief's execution". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  37. ^ "Turkey condemns execution of Bangladesh's Islamist party head - ASIA". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  38. ^ "Turkey withdraws Bangladesh ambassador after Jamaat-e-Islami leader Nizami's execution". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ghulam Azam
Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh
Succeeded by