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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.

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Anthony Ray Hinton was mowing the lawn at his mother's house in 1985 when Alabama police came to arrest him for 2 murders he did not commit. One took place when he was working the night shift at a Birmingham warehouse. Yet the state won a death sentence, based on 2 bullets it falsely claimed matched a gun found at his mother's home. In his powerful new memoir, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," Hinton describes how racism and a system stacked against the poor were the driving forces behind his conviction. He also writes about the unique and unexpected bonds that can form on death row, and in particular about his relationship with Henry Hays, a former Klansman sentenced to death for a notorious lynching in 1981. Hays died in the electric chair in 1997 - 1 of 54 people executed in Alabama while Hinton was on death row.
After almost 30 years, Hinton was finally exonerated in 2015, thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI. On April 27…

Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for 1971 war crimes

Motiur Rahman Nizami
Motiur Rahman Nizami
Motiur Rahman Nizami has paid with his life for the carnage he unleashed on Bengalis as the commander of Al-Badr militia to stop a secular Bangladesh being carved out of Islamic Pakistan in 1971.

He was hung by the neck at Dhaka Central Jail in the 1st hour of Wednesday (local time), Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told bdnews24.com around 12:10am.

The executive order to carry on with his execution was sent to the prison after the Jamaat-e-Islami chief chose not to beg the president to have mercy on him, the minister had said earlier.

Police have cordoned off the area outside the prison gate at Old Dhaka's Nazimuddin Road as journalists and crowds gathered to witness the fate of the fifth war criminal to be put to death for horrific atrocities in 1971.

Security had been heightened around the prison premises since Tuesday afternoon with additional police, RAB along with plainclothesmen roaming the area.

The 73-year old Jamaat chief's brutal past caught up with him when he had exhausted all options to get his death penalty overturned, which was handed down by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in 2014.

The legal battle that he waged even since his arrest on Jun 29, 2010, has been long.

He sought a review after the Supreme Court upheld the maximum sentence on Jan 6 this year but the petition was dismissed last week for having 'no merit'.

"Motiur Rahman Nizami not only co-operated with the Pakistani invading force in committing various crimes against humanity but also masterminded the formation of Al-Badr Bahini and was a leader of this Al-Badr Bahini," read his appeal verdict.

He was entitled to beg pardon from the president by admitting his guilt, but the home minister at 8:10pm on Tuesday said, "Nizami did not seek mercy. The executive order to carry out the death sentence has been sent to the prison authorities."

Final hours

* Senior Jail Superintendent Jahangir Kabir carries executive order to hang the 73-year-old in Dhaka Central Jail.

* Hangman Tanvir Hasan Raju arrives at the prison in an ambulance.

* Nizami is visited in the prison by 24 members of his family, including his wife and 2 sons, for a meeting that lasted for nearly 2 hours.

* Civil Surgeon Abdul Malek Mridha and Dhaka Deputy Commissioner Md Salah Uddin enter prison where 2 ambulances were waiting.

* Nizami is led to the hanging post from his condemned cell after being administered 'Tauba' or 'repentance for sins' by a Moulavi.

* Arrangements are completed to bury him in his family graveyard in Monmothpur, his village from Dhopadaha Union at Pabna's Santhia Upazila.


On Monday, the full copy of the review verdict was released and sent to the ICT. TV cameras panned on the tribunal officials as they took documents wrapped in red cloth to Dhaka Central Jail.

As head of Jamaat, Nizami has followed to the gallows partners in crime Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdur Quader Molla - all top leaders of his party.

After Mujahid, he is the 2nd war criminal to be hanged for orchestrating the abduction and killings of Bengali intellectuals for siding with the freedom struggle.

Both had headed the Al-Badr which during the war had dubbed itself the 'Angel of Death' for those fighting to be liberated from a repressive Pakistan.

The other charges describe Nizami assisting Pakistani soldiers in mass killing, murders, rapes, abduction and torture in Pabna's Santhia.

He was handed life imprisonment for ordering the murders of young freedom fighters including Shafi Imam Rumi who was being held at Nakhalparha's MP Hostel on Aug 8, 1971.

Nizami was born on Mar 31, 1943 in Monmothpur of Santhia.

He got his Kamil degree in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) from Dhaka's Madrasa-e-Alia in 1963.

He later graduated from the University of Dhaka in 1967.

Nizami joined Jamaat's then student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha and swiftly rose through the ranks to become its president in 1966, a post he retained for the following 5 years.

Source: bdnews24.com, May 10, 2015


Motiur Rahman Nizami: Bangladeshi Islamist leader executed

Bangladesh has executed a top Islamist leader for crimes committed during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971, the law minister says.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, 72, was hanged early in the morning (local time) on Wednesday, Anisul Haq said.

Nizami led Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami. Previous executions of party leaders have sparked violent protests.

Last week Nizami lost his final appeal against the sentence.

He was convicted of genocide, rape and torture, charges the defence said were not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Security was tightened across the country ahead of the execution. Supporters of Nizami protested outside Dhaka's Central prison, where the sentence was carried out.

Nizami is the fourth leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party to have been executed since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up a war crimes tribunal to look into abuses during the independence war.

A former government minister, Nizami was one of the most important figures to be found guilty.

He was convicted of setting up a militia which helped the Pakistani army identify and kill pro-independence activists.

Supporters and some rights groups say the executions are politically motivated.

Nizami will be buried in his village home in the northern part of Bangladesh.

His family met him briefly before his execution but left without speaking to the media, Bangladesh's Daily Star reported.

The hanging comes amid a spate of killings of liberal activists, secularists, foreigners and members of religious minorities that the government has blamed on Islamists.

Source: BBC News, May 10, 2016

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