Bangladesh – Death Penalty and Human Rights

Death penalty and human rights

  1. The provision of the death penalty remains in various criminal laws of Bangladesh. A large number of accused are being sentenced to death each year in the lower courts.
  2. The accused, who were sentenced to death, were kept in a condemned cell (in solitary confinement) for many years and, fearful of being executed at any time, they become mentally and physically ill. Generally, the accused are forced to make confessional statements through torture during police remand[1] and based on such statements, the court passes the maximum punishment to the accused. If the maximum punishment for a crime is the death sentence, the government can use the judicial system to imprison any person it dislikes for a long time.


On 3 July 2019, Rostam Ali, judge of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Court in Pabna, sentenced nine people to death in connection with the incident of bombing and shooting on a train carrying the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in Ishwardi under Pabna District in 1994. All those awarded the death penalty were leaders and activists of the opposition BNP and its affiliated organisations Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal.[2]


As of 30 June 2019, 1,467 Death Reference cases from different jails of the country were pending in the High Court Division and 237 cases were pending in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.[3]


  1. As per Odhikar’s record, 327 persons were given to death penalty in 2019. Furthermore, two persons were executed in 2019.


Figure 4

DP Bangladesh 2019

On 3 March 2019, one person named Saiful Islam Mamun was executed for killing Saudi Arabian Diplomat Khalaf Al Ali, in Dhaka. The death sentence of a man named Chand Mia alias Chandu was executed in Kashimpur Central Jail in Gazipur on 24 July 2019, for the murder of two persons – Amir Abdullah Hasan and Sentu Mia in Keraniganj under Dhaka District in 2002.[4]


To read full report, please see the below link:


[1] On 15 April 2014, Mohammad Azam filed a case accusing unknown persons at Hazaribagh Police Station in Dhaka, of abducting his minor son Abu Sayed. Later the case was handed over to the Detective Branch (DB) of Police. Sub Inspector of DB Police Ruhul Amin, arrested Afzal, Saiful, Sonia and Shahin Raji of Mehendiganj under Barishal District. The DB Police allegedly tortured them and forced them to confess to the court. Saiful alleged that the DB Police blindfolded and beat them and kicked them after throwing them to the ground. Later, they told the court, as per instructions of the DB Police, that they had killed Abu Sayed by throwing him in the river from a launch traveling to Barishal. In this case, they were imprisoned for several years and subsequently released on bail. However, on 29 August 2019, Afzal came to Senior Assistant Commissioner SM Shamim of the Pallabi Zone of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and told him that Abu Sayeed was alive and he was staying with his parents ( On 30 August, Sonia filed a case accusing seven persons for the alleged kidnapping and plotting of a false murder. Police arrested four persons, including Abu Sayeed and his father Mohammad Azam and mother Moinur Begum (

[2] The daily Jugantor, 4 July 2019;

[3] The daily Prothom Alo, 12 July 2019;

[4] The daily Jugantor, 25 July 2019;

To read full report, please see the below link:

Source: Odhikar 2019 Human Rights Report.

Odhikar is a member of ADPAN


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