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President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
President’s Office Bangabhaban, Dhaka
Fax: +880 2 9585502
Email: [email protected]
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