The death sentence against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Qader Mollah is based on the retroactive application of amended legislation after the conclusion of his trial and violates international fair trial standards to which Bangladesh is a party, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday.
“Human Rights Watch has long called for justice for the 1971 atrocities, but justice requires fair trials and due process of law,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a report published on its website in response to a Supreme Court verdict that on Jamaat assistant secretary general Mollah.
“Changing the law and applying it retroactively after a trial offends basic notions of a fair trial under international law,” he added.
The rights body also called for ensuring meaningful justice for victims and survivors through fair and transparent trials which meet the highest standards.
However, the director stressed that HRW takes no position on the guilt or innocence of any of the accused at the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) of Bangladesh.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced Mollah to death, overruling the judgment of International Crimes Tribunal-2 that had given him life term for war crimes committed during country’s Liberation War in 1971.