Nov 22

Protest in front of White house against Bangladesh death sentences

About 1,000 demonstrators gathered Thursday, 20th November, 2014, in front of the White House to protest the death sentences of three members of the Jamaat-e-Islami political party in Bangladesh.

The demonstrations organized by Human Rights and Development for Bangladesh (HRDB), protested the “unfair trial” against opposition leaders Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, Motiur Rahman Nizami, and Mir Qasem Ali, for war crimes charges.

Later, after that, another demonstration organised by the HRDB was held in front of the Bangladeshi embassy in the USA in Washington DC. A memorandam was prepared by the HRDB to be submitted to the embassy regarding the trials and their unjust nature. A spokesman for the group informed that the embassy refused to accept the memorandum in question. The protesters condemned the embassy officials move of refusing to accept the memorandum.

The court that heard the case, the International Crime Tribunal, or ICT, was established in 2009 by Bangladesh’s Awami League government in order to investigate humanitarian crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh war of independence.

“Everybody is okay with the court establishment reason, but they also need to meet with international standards,” said Mohammad Nakibur Rahman, HRDB president and University of North Carolina professor.

The group has petitioned the White House and intends to place public pressure on Bangladesh to bring awareness and hopefully change the court’s decision.

HRDB has long argued that the trial standards were not upheld, including “the presumption of innocence, clarity and specificity of charges, the right to appoint council of one’s own choosing, and sufficient time to prepare defense.”

This is a press release from the HRDB regrding the demonstrations.

Picture Gallery: