Bangladesh urged to stop execution of Abdul Quader Mollah

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UN Special Rapporteur Gabriela Knaul

Two United Nations human rights experts have called on the government of Bangladesh to halt the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court on 17 September.

Mollah was originally sentenced to life imprisonment in February for crimes allegedly committed during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh condemned Mr. Mollah to death after the Prosecution appealed the sentence of life imprisonment imposed by the International Crimes Tribunal.

The UN Special Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, and on summary executions, Christof Heyns, expressed great concern about information used to impose the death sentence on Mr. Mollah.

Special Rapporteur Knaul says anyone sentenced to death has a right to have their conviction reviewed by a higher court as laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Bangladesh is a party.

She points out that "this provision is violated where a court of final instance imposes a harsher sentence that cannot be reviewed."

The UN human rights experts expressed concern that the death sentence could be executed as early as Tuesday, 10 December 2013.

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration: 1’22″

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