Bangladesh will diplomatically approach both the US and the UK for extradition of death row convicts Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan but the countries are unlikely to get them back because of their domestic laws.
A special court in Dhaka today awarded death penalty to the duo for their offences during Bangladesh’s war of independence 42 years back.
First off, the UK will not extradite its citizen Mueen to Bangladesh because he has been sentenced to death. The UK as member of the European Union has abolished the death sentence.
When asked, Warren Daley, spokesperson of the British high commission in Dhaka, said: “The UK has made clear its support for Bangladesh’s efforts to bring to justice those accused of atrocities committed in 1971. Along with our EU partners, we are however opposed to the application of the death penalty in all circumstances.
"We will consider any extradition request received from Bangladesh within the terms of the Extradition Act of 2003. But in line with this Act, the government will not order a person’s extradition to Bangladesh if he could be, will be or has been sentenced to death for the offence.”
In response to a query, US embassy spokesperson Kelly McCarthy said: “We are aware of reports that a US citizen has been sentenced by Bangladesh’s war crimes court. We have nothing more to add."
"The State Department cannot respond to hypothetical requests for deportation or transfer of individuals to Bangladesh. The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Bangladesh.”
A senior official of the foreign ministry while explaining the US law said the US does not allow trial of its citizen outside its territory, so the US will not entertain trial of Ashrafuzzaman Khan in a Bangladeshi court.
As per the US law, any of its citizen if commit any crime outside territory of the US will be brought back to country and his/her trial will take place in US court.
Moreover, the foreign ministry officials said Bangladesh has no extradition treaties with US and UK.
They said the process to approach the two countries with request to send back Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan is a lengthy process because the court along with full copies of verdict will ask the foreign ministry to approach the concerned countries for bringing back the convicted persons.