Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Bangladesh coup massacre leaders are hanged

Bangladesh has executed five former military officers for their role in the 1975 massacre of the country's independence leader and several of his relatives and aides during a coup.

The five men, who were all at least in their 60s, had been convicted in 1998 of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's killing and had final appeals of their sentences rejected by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Government officials said the hangings would deter further military takeovers in a country that has seen about two dozen coups or coup attempts since 1971.

“Through this, a black chapter of the history has ended,” government lawyer Anisul Haq said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, eldest daughter of the independence hero, was accompanied by Cabinet ministers at her Dhaka home overnight and she later issued a statement asking people to show restraint.

The men were hanged early yesterday local time inside Dhaka Central Jail, prison official Brigadier General Mohammad Ashraful Islam Khan said.

Mr Rahman had led Bangladesh in its war to become independent from Pakistan in 1971 and went on to become the new country's first leader. But he was targeted in the August 15, 1975 military coup, which culminated in the deaths of Mr Rahman and 16 others his Dhaka residence.

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