The European Parliament has welcomed the verdict by Bangladesh’s highest appeals court, which overturned war criminal Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s death sentence and saved him from the gallows.
In a resolution on human rights violation in Bangladesh, adopted on Thursday, European Parliament expressed its satisfaction over the verdict.
Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) had last year had handed down the death penalty to Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sayedee for his crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and forced conversion, during the 1971 Liberation War.
European countries, which are against death sentence, had expressed dissatisfaction after that verdict.
On Wednesday, the Appellate Division, in a verdict on Sayedee’s appeal against the death penalty, commuted the earlier death sentence to ‘imprisonment until death’.
The European Parliament resolution welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict, while reiterating its call to Bangladesh government to abolish the death penalty.
It also mentioned that there was ‘strong and repeated criticism that the ICT does not comply with international standards’.
Despite the concern of various quarters over the trials of the 1971 war criminals, the government has repeatedly assured that highest possible transparency was being maintained.
The government has also cited, as a mark of fairness, the defence’s scope to appeal against a verdict, an opportunity that had been summarily denied to war criminals tried after the World War II.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has often expressed dismay over certain international quarters casting aspersions on the trial of war criminals.
On Sept 2, in Parliament her speech, she berated human-rights groups for their silence on the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
“Those who talk about human rights in our country are quiet now. Those who send letters to us when something happens here are quiet too,” she alleged.
“The US secretary of state, the UN secretary general, who call us to prevent the hanging of war criminals, where are they now?” she asked.