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UN human rights experts urge Bangladesh to stop the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
GENEVA (9 December 2013 ) – Two United Nations human rights experts
have urged the Government of Bangladesh to halt the execution of Abdul
Quader Mollah, who was sentenced to death on 17 September by the
country’s Supreme Court. The ruling, issued by the country’s highest court,
cannot be appealed.
The UN Special Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers,
Gabriela Knaul, and on summary executions, Christof Heyns, expressed great
concern about information according to which Mr. Mollah’s death sentence
could be executed as early as Tuesday, 10 December 2013.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh condemned Mr.
Mollah to death after the Prosecution appealed the decision of the
International Crimes Tribunal condemning him to life imprisonment.
The Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal is a special domestic court with
the jurisdiction and competence to try and punish any person accused of
committing atrocities, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against
humanity, in Bangladesh, including during the country’s 1971 independence
war.
“The right of appeal is of particular importance in death penalty cases,”
Special Rapporteur Knaul stressed.
“Anyone convicted of a crime has the right to have his or her conviction and
sentence reviewed by a higher tribunal, as laid down in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Bangladesh is a party,” she
said. “This provision is violated where a court of final instance imposes a
harsher sentence that cannot be reviewed.”
The independent experts also reiterated their concerns that the defendant was
not granted a fair trial.
9 December 2013