PRESS RELEASE – Bangladesh: Death penalty in war crimes tribunal “extremely regrettable”

Amnesty

July 17, 2013

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, a key member of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, was today sentenced to death for charges including abduction and murder at the International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka. The tribunal is a Bangladeshi court.

“It is extremely regrettable that Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed has been handed the death penalty. The war crimes tribunal is a historic opportunity for justice and reconciliation in Bangladesh, but punishing an alleged human rights violation with another is not the answer,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh Researcher.

“The death penalty violates the right to life as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. We oppose it in all cases, without exception,” said Faiz.

“We are already seeing violent protests in Bangladesh in response to these verdicts. There have been injuries on both sides in clashes between opposition parties and the police over the past two days. It is crucial that police do not use excessive force against demonstrators.”

“Many of the witnesses before the war crimes tribunal are Hindus, and some of their homes have been attacked following death penalty verdicts.  The Bangladesh authorities must ensure that such communities, and any witnesses are protected.”

Source: Amnesty International