The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) calls for the immediate suspension of the executions of Mr. Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, a former leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, and Mr. Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a former leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist party.
Both trials were in flagrant breach of international fair trial standards.
These trials are yet another example of the lack of due process in a case before the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) of Bangladesh. The violations of international law evidenced in these trials include: lack of judicial independence, witness interference and disappearance, falsifying of witness testimony, lack of safeguards against improper arrest, delay and arbitrary detention, conducting interrogations in the absence of the defence counsel and the issuing of statements by the Judiciary, the Prosecutor and the Bangladesh Government that are contrary to the presumption of innocence.
Kirsty Brimelow QC, Chair of the BHRC said, “Whilst BHRC is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, international law is also clear that ‘super due process’ must be applied in capital cases. States must ensure that all of the minimum guarantees and safeguards for a fair trial are provided for defendants facing the death penalty. Fair trials did not take place for either Mr. Mujahid or Mr Chowdhury. Executions require immediate suspension if Bangladesh is to comply with its international law obligations.”