Govt to Execute Kamaruzzaman as a Way Out of the Political Impasse – Jamaat


In a press release issued on 15 February 2015, Jamaat alleged that the government was preparing to execute the party’s Assistant Secretary General, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, under the International Crimes Tribunal following a flawed trial. The impending threat of execution, the party observed, was as a tool of political expediency in the midst of the political impasse currently gripping the country. In the statement, Jamaat observed:

“There has long been international consensus that the trials of the leaders of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (BJI) for crimes allegedly committed during the liberation war have fallen below both international and domestic standards. And since the Skype scandal (which compelled one of the judges to resign) it is also clear that the trials are part of the ruling party’s agenda to suppress the opposition. The Law Minister has made no attempt to conceal his party’s position on the trials.

When on 3 November 2014, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court passed an oral order upholding the death sentence of Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, BJI’s Assistant Secretary General, the Law Minister insisted that he could be executed without a written order in time for the Victory Day celebrations of 16 December. However, he failed to convince the jail authorities to act on the oral order and was forced to wait for a signed verdict. An execution just before the Victory Day anniversary would have been a feather in the cap for the new Law Minister.

On 9 February 2015, the Law Minister, exasperated by the delay in writing the judgment, threatened to investigate the dissenting judge for conspiracy with the opposition movement. The Law Minister’s outburst came at a time when the Government is desperately seeking to suppress opposition movement. Without the dissenting judgment, Kamaruzzaman cannot be executed. And an execution will help to divert media and public attention from the current political impasse.The Government will no doubt encourage public events to celebrate the hanging in the same manner as they celebrated the execution of Kamaruzzaman’s party colleague, Abdul Quader Mollah. The Government also sees this as an opportunity to demand a lifting of the blockade by the opposition. Failure to accede to this request will be characterised as an anti liberation stance, furthering the rhetoric that the ruling party is the only pro-liberation party in the country and therefore the only party fit to rule.

The threat of the Law Minister seems to have been working. It is now being heard that the judgment has hurriedly been finalised according to the requirements of the Law Minister. The judgment is now due to be published on 15 February 2015.”