Risingbd Desk, DHAKA, Dec 11: European Union, United Kingdom (UK) and Australia have expressed concerns over imminent use of death penalty in Bangladesh and the planned to execute leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Abdul Quader Mollah.
In a statement, European Union said, The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances, and has consistently called for its universal abolition.
The European Union has followed the judicial proceedings in Bangladesh concerning the crimes committed during the war preceding the independence of Bangladesh in 1971. From the start of the trials, the European Union has repeatedly stressed its concern about the possible application of the death penalty under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act.
It’s said, The case of Abdul Quader Mollah has now reached a stage where an execution of the death sentence given by the Supreme Court on 17th September could be imminent. The European Union notes the concerns that have been expressed by the United Nations special rapporteurs on independence of judges and lawyers and on summary executions regarding the lack of opportunity for appeal or review of the sentence. The European Union calls for these concerns to be addressed before taking the process further.
In this context the EU reiterates its position regarding the recent death penalties issued by the International Crimes Tribunal and the Supreme Court as well as the 152 death sentences that were recently handed down in the trial following the BDR mutiny in 2009. The European Union calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to commute these sentences and to introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step towards definitive abolition of capital punishment, it’s added.
In a statement, Senior Foreign Office Minister of UK Baroness Warsi said, “I’m deeply concerned at reports of plans to execute Abdul Quader Mollah in the coming days.”
The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle, said the statement adding, “We consider that its use undermines human dignity and that there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value.”
Bangladesh’s commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) require that all citizens be treated equally before the law, Warsi said.
In a statement issued by Australian High Commission in Dhaka on Wednesday said: “Consistent with Australia’s universal opposition to the death penalty, Australia also calls on Bangladesh to establish a moratorium on the death penalty,” said
Australia notes the concerns recently expressed by the United Nations special rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers and by the special rapporteur on summary executions regarding the lack of opportunity for appeal or review of the sentence, the statement said.
It said, “Australia calls on Bangladesh to address these concerns before taking the judicial process further.”