Dear Prime Minister #Hasina,
We write to express our concern of the unlawfulness of the legal procedures at the #Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), a special domestic court with the jurisdiction to try and punish any person accused of committing atrocities, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We recall that the #EuropeanParliament expressed concern over the #humanrights violations in Bangladesh its resolution in #September 2014, noting in particular the strong and repeated criticism that the ICT does not comply with international standards. It is alarming that the Tribunal has sentenced to death 17 individuals, five of whom have been executed. Mr Mir Quasem Ali, a leader of the Bangladesh political party, #Jamaat-e-Islami and a victim of false and politically motivated prosecution, was sentenced to death on 2 November 2014. By numerous accounts, his trial failed all international standards of fairness and openness.
The review of his case is due to be completed tomorrow, 30th August. Against the background of pervasive and grave violations of due process in the proceedings against him, it would be unrealistic, in our view, to expect that the review would be conducted fairly, upholding the standards of due process. We are concerned over reports that it is highly likely that the execution of the sentence would be carried out immediately after the outcome of the review is pronounced. We urge the Bangladeshi authorities to halt the proceedings and refrain from any execution of sentence until the fairness of the procedures against Mr Ali have been fully and independently investigated. Furthermore, we condemn the reported abduction of Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem the son of Mr #MirQuasemAli, who was in charge of his father’s legal strategy. We understand that he was taken from his home on 9th August. His whereabouts are unknown. We urge the Bangladeshi authorities take immediate and robust steps to establish his whereabouts and wellbeing and make best endeavours to ensure his safe return.
Members of the European Parliament