Motiur Rahman Nizami

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Motiur Rahman Nizami
Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami
In office
Preceded byGhulam Azam
Succeeded byMaqbul Ahmed
Minister of Agriculture
In office
10 October 2001 – 22 May 2003
Prime MinisterKhaleda Zia
Succeeded byM. K. Anwar
Minister of Industries
In office
22 May 2003 – 28 October 2006
Prime MinisterKhaleda Zia
Preceded byM. K. Anwar
Member of Parliament
for Pabna-1
In office
1 October 2001 – 28 October 2006
Preceded byProfessor Abu Sayed
Succeeded byMd. Shamsul Haque
Majority135,982 (57.68%)
In office
27 February 1991 – 16 February 1996
Succeeded byAbu Sayed
Majority55,707 (36.85%)
Personal details
Born(1943-03-31)31 March 1943
Santhia Upazila, Pabna, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died11 May 2016(2016-05-11) (aged 73)
Old Dhaka Central Jail, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Political partyJamaat-e-Islami
SpouseShamsunnahar Nizami
ChildrenMohammad Nakibur Rahman[1][2][3][4][5]
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka
ProfessionPolitician, scholar

Motiur Rahman Nizami (Bengali: মতিউর রহমান নিজামী; 31 March 1943 – 11 May 2016)[6][7] was a politician, former Minister of Bangladesh, Islamic scholar, writer, and the former leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He is noted for leading the terror squad Al-Badr during the Bangladesh Liberation War.[8] On 29 October 2014, he was convicted of masterminding the Demra massacre by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh.[9] Nizami was the Member of Parliament for the Pabna-1 constituency from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006.[6] He also served as the Bangladeshi Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Industry.

While various political entities and international organizations[10] had originally welcomed the trials,[11][12][13] 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.[14][15][16] Nizami was the last high-profile suspect to be tried for war crimes of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide; the court delayed his verdict in June 2014 because of the state of his health.[17]

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.[18]

On 29 October 2014, he was convicted and sentenced to death for his role in masterminding the Demra massacre, in which 800–900 unarmed Hindu civilians were killed after the women were raped. He was executed by hanging at Dhaka Central Jail on 11 May 2016.[19] He is the third minister of Bangladesh to be hanged.[20] He was frequently listed on The 500 Most Influential Muslims.[21][22]

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 received his Kamil degree in Islamic jurisprudence from Madrasa-e-Alia in Dhaka. He earned his bachelor's from the University of Dhaka in 1967.[6]

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 war, and many of its members collaborated with the Pakistan Army during the conflict. Nizami and some other top leaders left the country.

After 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,[23] 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.[24] 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 a chief of the infamous Al-Badr militia.[25] Along with the Pakistan Army, this militia abducted and massacred 989 Bengali intellectuals including professors, journalists, litterateurs, doctors and pro-Bangladesh activists in general.[26][27]

Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami[edit]

Nizami took over as the leader of Jamaat from Ghulam Azam in 2001.[28] 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.[29][30] 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 were alleged to have illegally granted a container-depot contract to the local firm GATCO.[31] A warrant was issued to arrest Nizami along with 12 others on 15 May 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.[32] Nizami denied the charges and said they were politically motivated.[33] He was released after two months on bail.

Blasphemy charges[edit]

In a public speech on 17 March 2010, the Dhaka Jamaat chief, Rafiqul Islam, compared Nizami's life to that of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, persisting in the face of persecution. On 21 March, the Bangladesh Tariqat Federation sued Rafiqul, Nizami and other Jamaat members "for hurting Islamic sentiments of the masses by comparing Nizami with the Prophet".[34]

Nizami, along with three other senior Jamaat leaders, was arrested on charges on 29 March 2010.[35] He secured bail the next day and appealed for dismissal of the case on 14 February 2011. The High Court adjourned the case for four months in March 2011.[35]

Smuggling charges[edit]

On 4 May 2011, Nizami was arrested on allegations of smuggling arms to Assamese insurgents in India in 2004.[36] His bail petition on 7 September 2011 was denied.[37]

On 30 January 2014, Nizami and 13 co-conspirators were sentenced to death by hanging after being found guilty of smuggling arms.[38]

International Crimes Tribunal[edit]

GonoJagoron Moncho is demanding death penalty of Nizami on 4 May 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.[39] 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.[17] 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.[9]


On 11 May 2016, Nizami was hanged at Dhaka Central Jail, 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.[40] He was buried at his family’s home in northern Bangladesh.[41]


 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.[42]

 Turkey:Turkey condemned execution of Motiur Rahman Nizami[43] and withdrew Turkish Ambassador from Bangladesh.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dr. Shafiqur Rahman urges all to be united against all anti-Islam conspiracies".
  2. ^ "Mohammad Nakibur Rahman".
  3. ^ "Mohammad Rahman, Ph.D".
  4. ^ Mohammad Nakibur Rahman is a professor at the University of North Carolina Pembroke
  5. ^ "Interview with Nizami's son Nakibur Rehman on his father's execution". YouTube.
  6. ^ a b c Mohiuddin Faruq (5 May 2016). "Noose tightens on Nizami for war crimes as Bangladesh Jamaat chief loses last legal battle". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for 1971 war crimes to protect Pakistan". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  8. ^ Karlekar, Hiranmay (2005). Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan?. Sage. p. 152. ISBN 978-0761934011.
  9. ^ a b "Bangladesh Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami sentenced to death". BBC News. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  10. ^ "EU supports war crime trial, wants fairness". The Daily Star. UNB. 28 May 2009. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  11. ^ Adams, Brad (18 May 2011). "Letter to the Bangladesh Prime Minister regarding the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act". Human Rights Watch.
  12. ^ Ullah, Ansar Ahmed (3 February 2012). "Vote of trust for war trial". The Daily Star.
  13. ^ Haq, M. Zahurul (2011). M.N. Schmitt; Louise Arimatsu; T. McCormack (eds.). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law - 2010 (1st ed.). Springer. p. 463. ISBN 978-9067048101.
  14. ^ "Bangladesh: Stop Harassment of Defense at War Tribunal". Human Rights Watch. 2 November 2011.
  15. ^ Karim, Bianca; Tirza Theunissen (2011). Dinah Shelton (ed.). International Law and Domestic Legal Systems: Incorporation, Transformation, and persuasion. Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0199694907.
  16. ^ Ghafour, Abdul (31 October 2012). "International community urged to stop 'summary executions' in Bangladesh". Arab News.
  17. ^ a b "Bangladesh war crimes: verdict on Jamaat-e- Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami deferred", DNA India, 24 June 2014
  18. ^ "Bangladesh Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami to hang". BBC News. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Nizami executed". Prothom Alo. Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for 1971 war crimes". 29 October 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ S Abdallah Schleifer. "The Muslim 500 : The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims" (PDF). The Muslim 500. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Explain what is 'Hanadar Bahini'". The Daily Star. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  24. ^ Biography, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.
  25. ^ "War crimes charges against pro-Pakistan militia commander Nizami who headed Bangladesh Jamaat". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  26. ^ Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary; Wasim Bin Habib; Mahbubur Rahman Khan (29 October 2014). "Operated like Gestapo". The Daily Star. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  27. ^ "Al-Badr's onus on Nizami". Dhaka Tribune. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Prof. Ghulam Azam Retires" Archived 6 March 2001 at the Wayback Machine, Islamic Voice, December 2006.
  29. ^ "Parliament Election Result of 1991,1996,2001 Bangladesh Election Information and Statistics". Vote Monitor Networks. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  30. ^ "Statistical Report: 8th Parliament Election" (PDF). Bangladesh Election Commission. p. 90. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  31. ^ "Bangladesh orders arrest of Islamist party chief", Reuters, 15 May 2008.
  32. ^ "12 'fugitives' face arrest order". The Independent. Dhaka. 16 May 2008. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
  33. ^ "Bangladeshi religious leader held". BBC News. 19 May 2008.
  34. ^ "Nizami, Mojaheed, Saydee arrested". The Daliy Star. 29 June 2010. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012.
  35. ^ a b "Proceeding against Nizami, Mojaheed put off". 27 March 2011.
  36. ^ "Nizami quizzed in Ctg arms haul cases". 7 May 2011.
  37. ^ "10-Truck arms case: Nizami denied bail". 7 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  38. ^ "Bangladesh court sentences JI chief to death", The Express Tribune, 30 January 2014
  39. ^ "Bangladesh War-Crime Tribunal Bogs Down". The Wall Street Journal. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  40. ^ "Bangladesh executes top Jamaat leader Motiur Rahman over '1971 war crimes'". Dawn. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  41. ^ "Bangladesh hangs top Islamist leader". 10 May 2016.
  42. ^ "Pakistan condemns BD JI chief's execution". Dawn. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  43. ^ "Turkey condemns execution of Bangladesh's Islamist party head - ASIA". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  44. ^ "Turkey withdraws Bangladesh ambassador after Jamaat-e-Islami leader Nizami's execution". India Today. Retrieved 17 May 2016.

External links[edit]

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