Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Bangladesh authorities to immediately halt the death sentence against Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War for what it said due to fair trial concerns.
In a report released on Sunday on its website, the New York-based global rights watchdog also said that Mollah should be granted a right to appeal against the conviction and death sentence.
“Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as an irreversible, degrading, and cruel punishment,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “It is particularly reprehensible in cases where laws were retroactively passed in order to enable the death penalty, and where the right to appeal against such a final judgment is not allowed.”
The rights body said the death sentence was handed down based on retroactively amended legislation, a move which violates international fair trial standards.
On February 5, 2013, Mollah was sentenced to life in prison by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), a domestic court holding trials for the atrocities in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of liberation from West Pakistan.
He was convicted on five of six counts, including murder and rape as crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was acquitted on one count of murder, the report mentioned.