News / Asia

Bangladesh Upholds Death Sentences for Independence Leader's Killers

The last legal barrier for the execution of the five men convicted for killing the country's founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was removed Wednesday when the supreme court dismissed an appeal for a review of their death sentences.

TEXT SIZE - +

The Bangladesh Supreme Court has upheld death sentences for five former army officers convicted of killing the nation's independence leader in 1975.  The case has drawn to conclusion under a government led by the assassinated leader's daughter, Sheikh Hasina.   

The last legal barrier for the execution of the five men convicted for killing the country's founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was removed Wednesday when the supreme court dismissed an appeal for a review of their death sentences. 

In November, the court had upheld a death sentence handed out to the five men by a lower court.  Lawyers say their executions are likely to be carried out in three to four weeks.

It is a case that is woven with the young nation's history.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led an independence struggle which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, following a war with Pakistan. Four years later, he was gunned down in an army coup, along with his wife and three sons.

The coup leaders escaped justice for 25 years.  The military rulers who governed the country after the killing of Mujibur Rahman granted them indemnity.

The case against them only began in 1996 when the assassinated leader's daughter, Sheikh Hasina first came to power. It slowed down again when her political rival ousted her, five years later.

The high-profile trial has finally ended, under Sheikh Hasina's second term as prime minister.  She returned to power last year.

In Dhaka, political analyst Ataus Samad says the conclusion of the politically sensitive case marks the end of a chapter for the nation and gives a message that criminals cannot escape justice.

"This case had gone through many, many obstructions, and during this time politically the country had become divided. It is very, very important for the country because it opens up an opportunity for restoration of rule of law," said Ataus Samad.    

The president has already dismissed appeals for clemency by three of the five convicted men. Lawyers say the other two are also likely to apply, but their appeal also is likely to be rejected.

Along with the five who now face execution, ten others had been found guilty and sentenced to death when the case began in 1996.  Six have fled the country, while three were acquitted on appeal.  One is believed to have died.  Sheikh Hasina's government is making efforts to extradite those who are living abroad. 

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid