Zillur Rahman

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Zillur Rahman
মোঃ জিল্লুর রহমান
Zillur Rahman in Neubrandenburg, Germany in 1973.jpg
Zillur Rahman in Neubrandenburg, East Germany in 1973.
15th President of Bangladesh
In office
12 February 2008 – 20 March 2013
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Preceded by Iajuddin Ahmed
Succeeded by Abdul Hamid
Personal details
Born Mohammed Zillur Rahman
(1929-03-09)9 March 1929
Bhairab, Kishoreganj, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
Died 20 March 2013(2013-03-20) (aged 84)
Resting place Banani graveyard, Dhaka[1]
Nationality British Indian (1929–1947)
Pakistani (1947–1971)
Bangladeshi (1971–2013)
Political party Awami League
Other political
Grand Alliance (2008–2013)
Spouse(s) Ivy Rahman (1936–2004)
Children Nazmul Hasan Papon
Education MS (history)
Alma mater University of Dhaka

Mohammed Zillur Rahman (Bengali: মোঃ জিল্লুর রহমান; 9 March 1929 – 20 March 2013) was the 19th President of Bangladesh from 2008 to 2013. He was also a senior presidium member of the Awami League.[2][3][4] He is the third president of Bangladesh, after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman, to die in office, while being the first to die of natural causes.

Early and personal life

Rahman was born in Bhairab Upazila, Kishoreganj District,[5] his mother's paternal home. His father, Meher Ali Mian, was a lawyer, the Chairman of the Mymensingh Local Board and Member of the District Board.[4]

Rahman was married to fellow Awami League politician Ivy Rahman, the party's secretary for women's affairs. Ivy was killed in the 2004 Dhaka grenade attack.[6] Together they had one son – Nazmul Hassan Papon – and two daughters – Tania Bakht and Tanima Bakht.[7] Papon is the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, managing director of Beximco Pharma and a MP.[4][8]


His early education started at a nearby primary school named Bhairab Model Govt. Primary school.In 1946, he passed Matriculation from Bhairab K. B. High School. He graduated with an Intermediate of Arts (IA) in 1947 from Dhaka Intermediate College.[9] In 1954, he got his MA with Honours in History and a LLB degree from Dhaka University.[10]

Early politics

Rahman participated in the Bengali language movement of 1952.[11] Later, as an Awami League candidate, he was elected as a member of parliament in the 1970 national elections of Pakistan. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, Rahman actively participated in the Government-in-exile. After the war, Rahman became the General Secretary of Awami League in 1972. He was elected as a member of the parliament in the 1973 general elections. After the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Rahman was arrested by the army junta, and spent four years in prison. Rahman served as a minister in the Awami League government between 1996 and 2001.[4]


Rahman was sworn in as the 19th president of Bangladesh on 12 February 2009.[7] Rahman exercised his power to grant clemency to as many as 21 individuals while he was in office.[12] In contrast, only four pardons were granted by his predecessors between 1972 and 2008.[12]

Clemency power exercised by Rahman

Among the people for whom Rahman exercised his clemency power is A H M Biplob who was convicted in the case of murdering a lawyer, whose body was cut into pieces and thrown into river. The Sessions Court awarded Biplob, son of Awami League leader and Mayor of Laxmipur municipality Abu Taher,[13] the death penalty for the murder in absentia. He was further convicted for the murder of two other persons on separate occasions. Biplob committed the crimes in 2000 and 2001 when the Bangladesh Awami League was in power. The High Court held the judgement of the Courts of Sessions in the case of murdering the lawyer but remitted the death penalties of two cases to life imprisonments. Following applications from Biplob's mother Rahman, the then President pardoned Biplob in the murder case of the lawyer in July 2011 and, then in February 2012, remitted the two other life imprisonments to ten years imprisonments.[14]

Illness and death

Rahman died at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore aged 84 on 20 March 2013[15] after he was flown to the country by an air ambulance for critical lung infection on 10 March. It followed his admission to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) at Dhaka cantonment the previous day, which was his 84th birthday.[16] In Singapore, he had been undergoing treatment for kidney and respiratory problems since 11 March.[17][18] Bangladesh's High Commissioner in Singapore Mahbub Uz Zaman announced: "The president died at a hospital here in Singapore at 6:47 pm local time."[19] At the time of his death his children were with him. In his absence, Parliamentary Speaker Abdul Hamid was appointed as acting president on 14 March. A presidential spokesman later announced that Hamid has declared three days of national mourning.[20] He was buried in Dhaka's Banani graveyard.[1]

In reaction to his death, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's immediate response was to express profound shock and that the death was "an irreparable loss to the country and its people," according to her Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad.[20]


  1. ^ a b Hasan Jahid Tusher (2013-03-23). "President laid to rest". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  2. ^ "Khaleda sad, unhappy". The Daily Star. 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman dies after illness". BBC. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Presidium Member of Awami League". 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "অভিভাবক হারাল জাতি". Prothom Alo. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  6. ^ "Country crippled in hartal". The Daily Star. 25 August 2004. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "A complete politician-cum-president". BD news24. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BXPq.L) People". Reuters. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "President Zillur passes away". BDINN. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "National Web Portal of Bangladesh – President". Government of Bangladesh. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Habib, Haroon (22 March 2013). "Zillur Rahman, a revered statesman". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Syed Badrul Ahsan and Shakhawat Liton (21 March 2013). "President Zillur passes away". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Presidential clemency political". The Daily Star. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 4 Dec 2013. 
  14. ^ "BANGLADESH: Clemency must not be a political game". 29 February 2012. Retrieved 4 Dec 2013. 
  15. ^ "Zillur Rahman dies". BD News24. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Bangladesh president Zillur Rahman dies in Singapore". First Post. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman dies after illness". BBC. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "President Zillur Rahman no more". The Daily Star. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman dies". Livemint. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)". BSS News. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Iajuddin Ahmed
President of Bangladesh
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid
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