• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Political Leader at Imminent Risk of Execution (Bangladesh: UA 35.20)

March 17, 2020

A senior leader of Bangladesh’s opposition party, ATM Azharul Islam, is at imminent risk of execution following Bangladesh authorities’ issuance of a death warrant on 16 March 2020. Convicted and sentenced to death by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in December 2014, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh denied the appeal on 31 October 2019 and upheld his death sentence. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have consistently raised serious flaws in trial and appeal proceedings of ICT tribunals, leading to a gross miscarriage of justice.

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Abdul Hamid President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh President’s Office Bangabhaban, Dhaka Bangladesh Fax: +880 2 9585502 Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Mohammad Ziauddin Embassy of Bangladesh 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008 Phone: 202 244 0183 Fax: 202-244-2771 | 7830 Email: [email protected] Contact form: http://www.bdembassyusa.org/index.php?page=contact Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear President, I am writing to ask for your urgent intervention to halt the execution of ATM Azharul Islam, which could be carried out within days following a rejection of the review petition, that the defense team will have to file within 15 days of the publication of the judgement to commute his death sentence. ATM Azharul Islam, a leader of opposition party Jamaat-e-Islami, was convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal in 2014 of committing murders and genocide during Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971. The Appellate Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court upheld the sentence on 31 October 2019. The government sent his death warrant to the jail authority on 16th March 2020. ATM Azharul now faces imminent execution. Those responsible for crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War must be held accountable, but taking another life is not the answer. The death penalty is an act of vengeance; it will not deliver the victims the justice they deserve. I call on you to immediately commute the death sentence of ATM Azharul Islam to a term of imprisonment; immediately establish an official moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty in Bangladesh; and respect the most rigorous international standards for a fair trial Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES