UNGA Resolution 2016 -24 of OIC’s 57 member states voted in favour, 13 abstained and 18 voted against

The resolution adopted on Dec 19, 2016 was backed by 117 states, while 40 voted against it and 31 abstained.

South Asia maintained its fondness for the death penalty as Pakistan joined Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Maldives in rejecting a universal moratorium, while Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka voted in favour.

24 of the OIC’s 57 member states voted in favour of the moratorium, while 13 abstained and only 18 voted against. The Muslim states that voted against were: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Those who abstained included: Bahrain, Came­roon, Comoros, Djibouti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and the UAE.

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Bangladesh executes on 16/10/2016 despite numerous calls from EU and others for the abolition of the Death Penalty

ADPAN is disapointed that Bangladesh executed Asadul on 16/10/2016 despite numerous calls, including from the EU. ADPAN urges Bangladesh to abolish the death penalty, and impose an immediate moratorium on all executions.

09:22 PM, October 16, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:34 AM, October 17, 2016

JMB leader Asadul hanged for killing 2 Jhalakathi judges

Star Online Report

Asadul Islam alias Arif, a leader of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) who was convicted of killing two Jhalakati judges in 2005, was hanged tonight at Khulna district jail.

“The sentence was executed at 10:30pm on Sunday,” a Khulna stringer reports quoting Jail Superintendent Kamrul Islam.

The body will be handed over to Asadul’s family tonight, the jail superintendent said.

Khulna Deputy Commissioner Nazmul Ahsan, DIG Prisons (Jessore) Tipu Sultan, Magistrate Md Nur-e-Alam Siddique, Civil Surgeon Dr Md Abdur Razzak and Jail Superintendent Kamrul Islam were present during the execution.

Earlier in the day, family members including his wife, two daughters and six sisters met the death row convicted criminal in jail, where Asadul has been kept since 2008.

Senior assistant judges — Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed — were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14, 2005.

The incident followed the series bomb blasts across country in 2005.

The Appellate Division had upheld death penalty of 7 JMB leaders including JMB chief Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Asadul and four other militants in the sensational Jhalakathi judges’ killing case.

Death sentence of the militants except Asadul were executed on March 29, 2007.

Asadul, who was absconding and later arrested on July 10 in 2007, filed the petition with the SC this year seeking review of its judgement.

On August 28 this year, the Supreme Court cleared the way for executing the JMB leader for killing two judges of Jhalakati in 2005.

A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by SK Sinha dismissed a petition filed by Asadul seeking review of its earlier judgement that upheld his death penalty.at Khulna district jail. – Daily Star, 16/10/2016


EU wants Bangladesh to abolish death penalty

Bangladesh:- Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal do not meet international standards of fair trial and due process?

This recent execution of  Motiur Rahman Nizami on 11/5/2016  forces us to look at Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (BICT), which really is not even an International tribunal – but really a Bangladeshi Tribunal.

The BICT, was established in 2009 pursuant to The International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973, and after the Awami League won the general election in December 2008 with a more than two-thirds majority in parliament, they started using it. The BICT is charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed during the 1971 conflict, in which about 3 million people were killed. 

The problem with the BICT is that it does not meet international fair trial standards, a fact that has been raised by the UN and many Human Rights Groups. Even the Bangladesh’s Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 (V of 1898), and the Evidence Act, 1872 (I of 1872), do not apply to BICT proceedings of the BICT – and so the normal standards that applies to other criminal trials in Bangladesh do not apply to BICT trials.

“the Tribunal have unfortunately not met international standards of fair trial and due process as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)…Serious due process problems, which have been repeatedly raised by various UN independent experts, include lack of adequate access to legal assistance and a lack of equality of arms between the prosecution and the defence, among other issues..” – Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Amnesty International notes that almost all of the ICT’s verdicts since it was established have been against members of opposition parties, mainly individuals associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Well serious crimes were also committed by pro-independence forces, but no one has been investigated or brought to justice for them.

In August 2013, the Bangladesh’s High Court declared the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s main Islamist party, is illegal, banning it from contesting January’s general election. – Aljazeera, 1/8/2013

By 2012, nine leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist party in the nation, and two of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, had been indicted as suspects in war crimes. In February 2013, Abdul Quader Molla, Assistant Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was the first person sentenced to death by the ICT who was not convicted in absentia. The others are:-

Quader Molla, former assistant secretary of  Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 12 December 2013.

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, former  Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami was hanged on 22 November 2015

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury,  seven-term member of parliament and member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) hanged on 22 November 2015

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, former senior assistant secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 11 April 2015.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 11/5/2016.

Others who have been convicted BICT and sentenced to death, and yet to be executed are Mir Quasem Ali (Jamaat-e-Islami) and Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin(uncertain?)

UN rights office expresses concern about death sentences in Bangladesh

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo:UN Multimedia

8 April 2016 – The United Nations human rights office today expressed concern about the latest death sentences handed down against two leaders of an opposition party by the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal, noting the court’s practices have not met international standards of fair trial and due process.

Since its inception in 2010, the tribunal has delivered at least 17 verdicts, the majority of which have resulted in the imposition of the death penalty. So far, four men have been executed, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“The UN opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, no matter the gravity of the crime committed and even if the most stringent fair trial standards were respected,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

While recognising Bangladesh’s determination to tackle past crimes, the trials conducted before the Tribunal have unfortunately not met international standards of fair trial and due process as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), she said.

Serious due process problems, which have been repeatedly raised by various UN independent experts, include lack of adequate access to legal assistance and a lack of equality of arms between the prosecution and the defence, among other issues, she added.

OHCHR called on Bangladesh to respect its obligations under the ICCPR, to which it acceded in 2000. Article 14 of the ICCPR details the right to a fair trial. The imposition of a death sentence following a trial in which these provisions have not been respected constitutes a violation of the right to life.

The two leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami opposition party who were given death sentences are Mir Quasem Ali and Motiur Rahman Nizami.

The former was sentenced to death in November 2014 by the Tribunal, and the Supreme Court also upheld the verdict on 8 March.

Nizami was sentenced to death on charges of planning, ordering and committing murders and rapes, among other serious crimes during the 1971 war of independence. He filed a review petition against his death warrant, due to be heard on Sunday, 10 April, following a one-week deferral. This is the last stage of the legal process in appealing against his execution, other than to seek a presidential pardon. “We hope it will be considered thoroughly by the court,” the spokesperson said.

Bangladesh reportedly has more than 1,200 prisoners on death row. In the month of March this year alone, at least 13 people were reportedly sentenced to death in separate murder cases in four districts in Bangladesh.

“We renew our call to the Government of Bangladesh, as a first step forward, to halt all executions and institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty,” the spokesperson said.- UN News Center, 3/4/2016

Source also include Charles Hector Blog, where Charles Hector is the Coordinator of MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture), a member of ADPAN.