“I appeal to the Government of Bangladesh not to carry out the death sentence imposed on Abdul Kader Mullah. His name stands for dreadful crimes and huge suffering during the war of independence.
Nonetheless, the Federal Government rejects the death penalty on principle. Moreover, there are doubts as to whether he received a fair trial. I therefore appeal to the authorities in Bangladesh to convert the sentences into terms of imprisonment and to put in place a moratorium on the death penalty.”
Early this year Abdul Kader Mullah was convicted of war crimes committed during the war of independence with Pakistan in 1971. The country’s supreme court recently confirmed the death sentence, which could be carried out any time now. International observers criticise the special tribunal set up to try crimes committed during the war of independence for not ensuring that the trials are carried out in keeping with the rule of law. They say the accused have not been allowed appropriate defence representation or given a fair hearing in accordance with the law. It is thought that up to three million people died during the war of independence.