Bangladesh must halt the imminent executions of three men sentenced to death for a grenade attack on the UK Ambassador, Amnesty International said.
Prison authorities in Bangladesh today confirmed that the executions of Mufti Abdul Hannan, Sharif Shahedul Alam Bipul and Delwar Hossain Ripon – all alleged members of the banned armed group Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI) – would be carried out soon. They were all convicted of and sentenced to death over an attack in 2004 which injured the then-UK High Commissioner, Anwar Choudhury, and killed three people.
“These executions must be stopped immediately. While those found responsible for crimes after fair trials should be punished, the death penalty is never the solution. It’s dismaying that the Bangladeshi authorities are looking to take more lives in the name of fighting ‘terrorism’,” said Olof Blomqvist, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh researcher.
“The death penalty is always a human rights violation and is in no way a more effective way to tackle crime than life imprisonment. Sending these men to the gallows will not make Bangladesh safer, it will only add to the death toll.”
On 19 March 2017, the Bangladeshi Supreme Court rejected the three men’s final appeals. Their only remaining option is now to seek a presidential pardon to stop the executions.
Bangladesh is among the minority of states globally that still implements the death penalty. In 2015, four people were executed in the country, while almost 200 people were sentenced to death.
“We urge President Abdul Hamid to pardon these three men and spare their lives. Bangladesh should also immediately impose a moratorium on executions with a view to full abolition of the death penalty. More and more countries around the world are coming around to the fact that taking lives neither deters crime nor is an effective mean to deliver justice,” said Olof Blomqvist.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the executions.