Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, today (6 November) issued the following statement:
I am appalled by the death sentences pronounced in Bangladesh. The death penalty is inhumane and cruel. Moreover, any doubts about the fairness of the proceedings, including the question whether the defendants had been allowed adequate contact with their lawyers, must be dispelled.
The German Government calls upon the Government of Bangladesh to set aside the judgement, to commute the sentences to prison terms and to impose a moratorium on capital punishment.
On 5 November 2013, a special civilian court sentenced 152 former Bangladesh border guards to death. They were found guilty of having killed 74 people, including 57 officers, during a mutiny in Dhaka on 25 and 26 February 2009. 277 of the approximately 850 defendants were acquitted, the others were given custodial sentences ranging from 3 to 10 years. The defendants’ lawyers announced that they would appeal the verdict.