capital punishment

capital punishment

Protest in front of White House demanding to stop execution of opposition leaders in Bangladesh

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Human Rights and Development for Bangladesh (HRDB) and thousands of supporters staged a protest in front of the White House on Thursday, November 20 at 1:30 PM to speak out against the recent death sentences of Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, Motiur Rahman Nizami, and Mir Quasem Ali by Bangladesh's notorious International Crimes Tribunal (ICT). The ICT was established in 2009 to try war criminals from Bangladesh's liberation war over 40 years ago. The ruling Awami League has since corrupted the court to target political opposition leaders under fabricated war crimes charges. Defendants are denied fundamental legal rights and are subsequently sentenced to death or life imprisonment without a fair trial. There is evidence that government officials have directly manipulated the proceedings to exact political revenge on opponents. Officials from the US State Department, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, United Nations, UK BAR Human Rights, European Union, and numerous human rights organizations have criticized the proceedings and have urged the Awami League to suspend the executions until the defendants can be granted a fair trial. Domestically, the ICT sentences have sparked massive protests throughout Bangladesh. The Awami League has so far ignored international and domestic criticism. During the protest, HRDB and supporters spoke out against the injustice of the Awami League and the decline of democracy in Bangladesh. National Director of American Muslim Alliance Imam Mahdi Bray spoke in the rally and said that the injustice that is going on in Bangladesh needs to stop now. Supporters came from as far away as New York to demonstrate their concern for democracy in Bangladesh. Brother of Mir Qasem Ali - Mir Masum Ali, Son of Motiur Rahman Nizami – Dr, M, Nakib Rahman, Community leader Shahana Masum, Egyptian American for Democracy president Akram Elzend, HRDB president Mahtabuddin also spoke in the Rally. The protest was part of a campaign to raise awareness of the political killings in Bangladesh, urge the US government to take action on these men's behalf, and pressure the Awami League to suspend the executions until the ICT is capable of holding fair trials.