Action Alert: Bangladesh – Commute the death sentence for Jamaat Leader Sayeedi

Delwar Sayedee

Jamaat Leader Sayeedi facing imminent execution


Contents

1. Action Required

2. Summary

3. Background

4. Sample Letters

1. Action Required

Please write an urgent letter to the High Commissioner of Bangladesh in your country demanding to commute the death sentence handed down to Jamaat leader Sayeedi immediately.

2. Summary

Bangladesh Jamaat leader, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, sentenced to death under the war crimes tribunal on 28 February 2013, is at risk of execution. He has denied the charges saying they are politically motivated.

IHRC requests all campaigners to take immediate action and urge for the withdrawal of his death sentence. Please find sample letters at the end of this alert.

3. Background

Delwar Hossain Sayeedi is the Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islaami in Bangladesh. He was sentenced to death by hanging on 28 February 2013 for war crimes committed during the 1971 war in Bangladesh.

Sayeedi has denied the charges saying they are politically motivated. He is amongst several other Jamaat leaders who are being prosecuted for alleged war crimes.

Sayeedi’s is yet another death sentence to be handed down by the ruling party to opposition leaders. Under the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), set up in 2010, Awami League, has convicted many Jamaat leaders charged with war crimes committed during the 1971 war. The ICT has been condemned by well-known human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Centre for Transnational Justice, the International Bar Association and the UK Bar Human Rights Committee. It has been condemned for failing to meet international standards of justice and for allegedly being used as a tool to weaken political rivals.

According to reports received by IHRC, ‘it is now public knowledge that Sayeedi’s conviction and sentence is the result of collusion between the government, the prosecutor, the ICT chairman Mohamed Nizamul Haque and a lawyer of Bengali origin living in Belgium Dr. Ahmed Ziauddin.’ For further information on his case please read HERE and HERE.

Sayeedi’s trial and sentencing lead to nationwide protests, strikes and violence as clashes were reported between Islami Chahtra Shibir, the student wing of the Jamaat, and the police. Scores were reported dead. An estimated 2000 were injured all over the country. According to reports, ‘it was the worst day of political violence in Bangladesh in decades.’

IHRC has received reports that Sayeedi is at a risk of execution. IHRC urges all campaigners to write to the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to your country as well as your Foreign Secretary and urge for an immediate rescinding of the death sentence.

4. Sample Letters

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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you send and the reply you received, to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

a. Letter to the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to your country

[For UK campaigners]

[Your Name]

[Your address]

H.E. Mohamed Mijarul Quayes

hc@bhclondon.org.uk

Your Excellency Mohamed Mijarul Quayes,

Assalam Alykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

Re: Calling for immediate withdrawal of death sentence against Jamaat leader Sayeedi

I demand an immediate withdrawal of the death sentence handed down to Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the current Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islaami.

Sayeedi, who was arrested and detained under allegations of war crimes has categorically denied all charges against him and considers them politically motivated.

The ICT has been condemned by well-known human rights organisations and eminent lawyers for lack of transparency, failing to meet international standards of justice and for allegedly being used as a tool to weaken political rivals.

Appalling discrepancies have been reported in Sayeedi’s trial including collusion between lawyers and government ministers and intimidation and biased selection of witnesses.

The recent execution of Jamaat-e-Islaami former leader Abdul Kader Mullah on 12 December 2013 under this allegedly unjust system of law has horrified me. I fear the same for Sayeedi.

The government of Bangladesh cannot use the horrors of the war of independence as a pretext to persecute political opposition figures.

I therefore demand that Sayeedi’s death sentence is immediately commuted. I look forward to your immediate annulment of his death sentence.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]

b. Letter to the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh

[Your Name]

[Your address]

H.E. Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali MP

Email: http://www.mofa.gov.bd/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=29

Honourable Foreign Minister,

Assalam Alykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

Re: Calling for immediate withdrawal of death sentence against Jamaat leader Sayeedi

I demand an immediate withdrawal of the death sentence handed down to Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the current Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islaami.

Sayeedi, who was arrested and detained under allegations of war crimes has categorically denied all charges against him and considers them politically motivated.

The ICT has been condemned by well-known human rights organisations and eminent lawyers for lack of transparency, failing to meet international standards of justice and for allegedly being used as a tool to weaken political rivals.

Appalling discrepancies have been reported in Sayeedi’s trial including collusion between lawyers and government ministers and intimidation and biased selection of witnesses.

The recent execution of Jamaat-e-Islaami former leader Abdul Kader Mullah on 12 December 2013 under this allegedly unjust system of law has horrified me. I fear the same for Sayeedi.

The government of Bangladesh cannot use the horrors of the war of independence as a pretext to persecute political opposition figures.

I therefore demand that Sayeedi’s death sentence is immediately commuted. I look forward to your immediate annulment of his death sentence.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]

c. Letter to Your Foreign Secretary

[For UK campaigners]

[Your Name]

[Your address]

Rt Hon Mr William Hague

Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

King Charles Street,

London, SW1A 2AH

Dear Rt Hon Mr William Hague,

Re: Urge the Bangladeshi government to commute death sentence of Jamaat leader Sayeedi

I urge you to pressurize the Bangladeshi government to immediately commute the death sentence against Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the current Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islaami.

He was sentenced to death by hanging on 28 February 2013 for war crimes committed during the 1971 war in Bangladesh. There are reports that he will be executed soon.

Sayeedi has denied all charges against him saying they are politically motivated. The International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, under which Sayeedi and several other Jamaat leaders are being tried has been condemned by human rights organisations and eminent lawyers for lack of transparency, failing to meet international standards of justice and for allegedly being used as a tool to weaken political rivals.

Appalling discrepancies have been reported in Sayeedi’s trial including collusion between lawyers and government ministers and intimidation and biased selection of witnesses.

The recent execution of Jamaat-e-Islaami former leader Abdul Kader Mullah on 12 December 2013 under this allegedly unjust system of law has horrified me. I fear the same for Sayeedi.

Please, take immediate action and urge your Bangladeshi counterparts to annul his death sentence lest another possibly innocent life is sent to the gallows for no reason except valid opposition of the rulers.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]

List of Foreign Ministers

1) Netherlands

Frans Timmermans

Minister of Foerign Affairs

PO Box 20061, 2500 EB The Hague, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 70 3486486

Fax: + 31 70 3484848

Email: https://www.government.nl/contact/contact-form

2) Australia

The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs

PO Box 2010

Subiaco, WA, 6904

Tel: (08) 9388 0288

Fax: (08) 9388 0299

Email: Julie.Bishop.MP@aph.gov.au

3) Canada

Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Honourable John Baird

Enquiries Service (BCI)

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

125 Sussex Drive

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0G2

Canada

Tel: 1-800-267-8376 (toll-free in Canada)

Tel: 613-944-4000 (in the National Capital Region and outside Canada)

Fax: 613-996-9709

Email: https://www.international.gc.ca/department-ministere/form_contact-formulaire_contacter.aspx?lang=eng

4) USA

Secretary of State John F. Kerry

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520

Email: http://contact-us.state.gov/app/ask/session/L3RpbWUvMTM5MTQyNjg2My9zaWQvVElOYy0tTGw%3D

5) Malaysia

The Honourable DATO’ Sri Anifah Hj. Aman

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia

Wisma Putra, No 1, Jalan Wisma Putra, Precinct 2, 62602 PUTRAJAYA

Tel: +603-8000 8000

Fax: 603-8889 1717, 603-8889 2816

Email: webmaster@kln.gov.my

6) France

Laurent Fabius

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Direction de la communication et de l’information

37, Quai d’Orsay 75700 Paris France

Fax: 33 1 43 17 47 53

Email: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/navigation/email-us/article/contact-form

7) South Africa

Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of the Republic of South Africa

Department of International Relations and Cooperation

Private Bag X152

Pretoria

0001

Republic of South Africa

Tel: + 27 12 351 1000

Fax: + 27 12 329 1000

8) Turkey

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dr. Sadık Ahmet Cad. No:8 Balgat / ANKARA – TURKEY 06100

Tel: +90 (312) 292 10 00

Email: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/contact-us.en.mfa

9) Bahrain

H.E Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

P.O. Box 547

Government Road

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Tel: +973-17227555

Email: http://www.mofa.gov.bh/Default.aspx?tabid=79&language=en-US

10) Sweden

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt

Government Offices of Sweden

SE-103 33 Stockholm

Tel: Phone: +46 8 405 24 88

Email: utrikesdepartementet.registrator@gov.se

List of Bangladeshi Ambassadors in your country

1) USA

Akramul Qader

The Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington, DC

3510 International Drive NW

Washington, DC 20008

USA

http://www.bdembassyusa.org/index.php?page=contact

2) Sweden

H. E. The Ambassador Mr. Md. Golam Sarwar

Embassy of Bangladesh, Stockholm

Anderstorpsvägen 12 (1 Tr.)

171 54 Solna

banijya@bangladeshembassy.se

3) Malaysia

A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Bangladesh High Commission

House no 114 , Jalan U-Thant

55000 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

bddoot@unifi.my ,

mission.kualalumpur@mofa.gov.bd

4) Bahrain

His Excellency Md. Ali Akbar

House 71

Qufool Avenue, Salihiya356

Manama, Bahrain

Tel: 973-17233925

Fax: 973-17233683; 973-17232819

bangla@batelco.com.bh, bdoot@live.com

5) Australia

Lieutenant General Masud Uddin Chowdhury (Retd)

57, Culgoa Circuit,

O’Malley, ACT-2606

Canberra, Australia

 hoc@bhcanberra.com

6) South Africa

H.E. Mr. Md. Touhid Hossain

High Commissioner

410 Farenden Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria 0002, South Africa.

bangladeshpta@iburst.co.za

7) Canada

His Excellency Kamrul Ahsan

High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Canada

Constitution Square Centre

340 albert street, Suite  – 1350

Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7Y6

bangla@rogers.com

8) Turkey

Embassy of People’s Republic of Bangladesh Ankara Turkey

H.E. Mr. Md. Zulfiqur Rahman

Büyükdere Caddesi, No:121, Kat:5, Ercanhan,

Esentepe, ÅžiÅŸli, Ä°stanbul

bdcgistanbul@ttmail.com

9) Netherlands

Sir/Madam

Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Hague.

Wassenaarseweg 39

2596 CG The Hague

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0) 70- 328 3722

Email: mission.hague@mofa.gov.bd

10) France

M. Shahidul Islam

109, Avenue Henri Martin 75016 Paris,

Tel: 01 46 51 90 33

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