Bangladesh sentences 26, including politician, ex-police commander, to death

January 16, 2017 6:50 pm

Nur Hossain (C), a former member of the ruling party in , who has been sentenced to death for ordering the killing of an arch-rival

A court in Bangladesh has handed death penalties to a politician and a former elite police force commander as well as other members of the force for the abduction and killing of seven men three years ago.
The court in the Narayanganj District near the capital city of Dhaka on Monday sentenced former ruling party Awami League member Nur Hossain to death for hiring officers with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) to abduct and kill his arch-rival Nazrul Islam and four of his aides.
Twenty five others were also sentenced to death, including Tarek Sayeed, a former RAB commander and the son-in-law of the country’s disaster management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya. Many of the other defendants who received the death penalty also belonged to the RAB force in Narayanganj.
Nine others were handed prison sentences ranging from seven to 17 years in prison.

Tarek Sayeed (C), a former commander in the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) force in Bangladesh

A lawyer, Chandan Sarkar, who had filmed the abductions on his mobile phone was then himself kidnapped, along with his driver. All seven of the victims were then killed and their bodies dumped in the Shitalakshya River outside Narayanganj.
After the verdict was read, Islam’s widow said she was happy with the rulings. The daughter of the slain lawyer expressed similar feelings.
Convicting law enforcement forces is rare in Bangladesh, where rights activists say extrajudicial killings are routine.
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