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Old February 15, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Bangladesh: Resist pressure to push for death sentences at war crimes tribunal

Mass protests have taken place across Bangladesh calling for the death penalty for a man convicted of war crimes.© MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Bangladesh government must not let a proposed new legal amendment lead to a push for death sentences for those convicted in its ongoing war crimes tribunal, Amnesty International said.

Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) was set up in 2010 to try people suspected of crimes under international law, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed during the country’s 1971 war of independence.

On Sunday, parliament is likely to pass an amendment to the law governing the proceedings of the ICT, which will enable prosecutors to appeal for the death penalty for those sentenced to imprisonment in the tribunal.

“Given the extremely tense situation in Bangladesh, there is a real risk that the government will use this amendment to push for those tried in the ICTto be sentenced to death,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh researcher.

“We urge the government to resist this. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel and inhuman form of punishment, and the government should abolish it altogether, not call for it. .”
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