RELIGION

Home Minister: Bangladesh executes leader of Islamist party

  • A Bangladeshi man throws a shoe at a Motiur Rahman Nizami poster to celebrate the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami party's senior leader outside Dhaka's central jail, Bangladesh, early Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami is the fifth man to be hanged as three other senior colleagues from his Islamist party and another senior leader of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia have been hanged since 2013. (AP Photo)

    A Bangladeshi man throws a shoe at a Motiur Rahman Nizami poster to celebrate the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami party's senior leader outside Dhaka's central jail, Bangladesh, early Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami is the fifth man to be hanged as three other senior colleagues from his Islamist party and another senior leader of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia have been hanged since 2013. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bangladeshi activists celebrate outside Dhaka's central jail, after the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami party's chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in Dhaka, Bangladesh, early Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami is the fifth senior official from opposition parties to be executed since 2013 for war crimes carried out during the 1971 war. Three other senior members of Nizami's Jamaat-e-Islami party and a top leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia were also hanged. (AP Photo)

    Bangladeshi activists celebrate outside Dhaka's central jail, after the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami party's chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in Dhaka, Bangladesh, early Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami is the fifth senior official from opposition parties to be executed since 2013 for war crimes carried out during the 1971 war. Three other senior members of Nizami's Jamaat-e-Islami party and a top leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia were also hanged. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bangladeshi activists show shoes, as they celebrate outside Dhaka's central jail, after the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami party's chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in Dhaka, Bangladesh, early Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami is the fifth senior official from opposition parties to be executed since 2013 for war crimes carried out during the 1971 war. Three other senior members of Nizami's Jamaat-e-Islami party and a top leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia were also hanged. (AP Photo)

    Bangladeshi activists show shoes, as they celebrate outside Dhaka's central jail, after the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami party's chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in Dhaka, Bangladesh, early Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami is the fifth senior official from opposition parties to be executed since 2013 for war crimes carried out during the 1971 war. Three other senior members of Nizami's Jamaat-e-Islami party and a top leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia were also hanged. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

A senior government official says the head of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party has been executed for his role in acts of genocide and war crimes during the country's independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan says Motiur Rahman Nizami , leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hung at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday inside Dhaka central jail amid tight security.

Nizami had sought a review of his death sentence, but the country's Supreme Court upheld his punishment after he was convicted of three major charges stemming from the 1971 war — including the killings of 480 people. He was also held responsible for the killings of dozens of intellectuals, including teachers, journalists and doctors, just two days before Bangladesh gained independence in 1971.