Dr. Muhammed Iqbal Masood Alnadvi, the President of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada has drawn attention to Canadian Government on gross human right violation in Bangladesh; killing the prominent political opposition leaders. Following is his letter to Stéphane Dion Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs,
125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2 Canada
I urge that Canadian government should raise the issue of gross violation of human rights in Bangladesh, most importantly awarding of capital punishment to the political opponents and prominent opposition figures. Most recent example is announcing the death penalty to the third largest political party chief Motiur Rehman Nizami, a three time federal minister and Member of Parliament. Bangladesh must overturn the death sentence against Motiur Rahman Nizami and all others. This death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and can never be a way to deliver justice,”
This punishment was awarded by a so called International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) which was widely criticized by the prominent legal experts, lawyers, journalists and human rights activists and organization alike. Since the beginning of the trials several human rights organizations and international legal figures have raised objections to the court proceedings.
Here are few quotes:
"Their trial and appeals process were clearly flawed and since they now face the death penalty, the ultimate miscarriage of justice may be only days away," David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s South Asia research director, said in a statement(1).
Human Rights Watch, have criticized it for issues of fairness and transparency, as well as reported harassment of lawyers and witnesses representing the accused. Brad Adams, director of the Asia branch of Human Rights Watch, said in November 2012:
"The trials against (...) the alleged war criminals are deeply problematic, riddled with questions about the independence and impartiality of the judges and fairness of the process.”
In December 2012, The Economist published contents of leaked communications between the chief justice of the tribunal, Mohammed Nizamul Huq, and Ahmed Ziauddin, a Bangladeshi attorney in Brussels who specializes in international law and is director of the Bangladesh Centre for Genocide Studies.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the e-mails and Skype calls showed that Ziauddin was playing an important part in the proceedings, although he had no legal standing. The WSJ also said that the communications suggested that the Bangladeshi government was trying to secure a quick verdict, as Huq referred to pressure from a government official.
In March 2013, the Economist criticized the tribunal, mentioning government interference, restrictions on public discussion, not enough time allocated for the defense, the kidnapping of a defense witness and the judge resigning due to controversy over his neutrality.
Key defense witnesses, including a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, were prevented from testifying in one of the accused Salahuddin Qauder Chawdhury, when the tribunal limited to four the number of witnesses the defense lawyers could summon. Mr. Chawdhury a seven times parliamentarian was put to death on 22 November 2015, In a letter to Bangladesh’s Ambassador to the United States, Mohammad Ziauddin, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged the Bangladeshi government to delay Chowdhury’s execution and properly review his case.
In the presence of above given quotes, evidences and statements I strongly urged to your honor to intervene in this matter and use every way possible to prevent the loss of innocent lives through tainted court proceeding and questionable witnesses.
Dr. Muhammed Iqbal Masood Alnadvi,
President, Islamic Circle of North America, Canada.
cc to: H.E. Kamrul Ahsan, High Commissioner for Bangladesh in Canada. 350 Sparks Street, Suite # 1100, Ottawa, ON K1R 7S8, Canada, Fax: +1-613-567- 3213. E-mail: email@example.com References:
(1) https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/10/bangladesh-imminentexecutions/, visited on January 07, 2016.
(2) Watch, Human Rights. "Bangladesh: Government Backtracks on Rights". Retrieved 1 February 2013. (3) Wright, Tom (20 December 2012). "Bangladesh War-Crime Tribunal Bogs Down". Wall Street Journal (4) "Justice in Bangladesh: Another kind of crime". The Economist, 2013-03- 23. Retrieved 2013-04