HRM condemns the death penalty the “unjust and unfair” execution of two opposition leaders in Bangladesh carried out on November 21st, 2015.
The authorities carried out the death sentences passed on the Secretary General of the Islamic Group in the country, Ali Ahsan Mujahid 67, and an MP of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Salah el Din Quader Chowdhury.66 at 6:45pm at the Dhaka Central Prison.
In July 2013, Bangladesh's highest court sentenced the two opposition leaders to death for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country's war of independence in 1971.
Bangladesh's Supreme Court upheld the death penalty passed by a Bangladeshi war tribunal two years ago for the top leaders, for wartime atrocities.
Ali Ahsan Mujahid 67was a Bangladeshi politician and convicted war criminal, who served as a Member of Parliament and as the Minister of Social Welfare from 2001 to 2007 of Bangladesh, he was the Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat Islamiya.
Sala El din Quader Chowdhury was a Bangladeshi politician, convicted war criminal, and seven-term member of parliament and member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)Standing Committee, who served as the adviser of parliamentary affairs to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and was accused of genocide during the Bangladesh war of independence.
It is worth mentioning that Muhammad Kamaruzzaman served as senior assistant secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat Islamiya and was convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh. Despite the UN describing the sentence as unfair he was executed by hanging at Dhaka Central Jail at 22:01 on 11 April 2015.[4
On December 12th, 2013 executed Abdul Quader Molla 65 a Bangladeshi Islamist leader who was tried and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh despite being initially sentenced to life in prison.
HRM expresses its concern that death penalties continue to be carried out against opposition. Mir Qassem Ali 62, faced accusations of war crimes committed during the 1971 war against Pakistan. Azhar Alislam 62, was also sentenced to death on December 30th, 2014 after being accused of participating in killings and Abdul Subhan 79 was also accused of the same crimes also faced the death penalty.
HRM confirms that the measures by the current regime in Bangladesh are a settling of scores and politically motivated to intimidate activists. Former police officials have not been charged despite participating in the war and the government is using the tribunal to target political opponents. The court's procedures are not up to international standards and are a violation to article 6 of the International convention for civil and political rights which asserts anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.
HRM believes the executions of Mujahid and Chowdhury were a violation to international agreements and covenants for human rights as life is wasted and calls for the authorities responsible for the sentences to be tried in accordance to international standards.
HRM calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to end the executions of the Islamist leaders and to drop penalties not yet carried out and to respect article 3 of the Universal Declaration for human Rights which stresses that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.