Bangladesh president rejects Mujib killers’ mercy petitions

January 19th, 2010 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Jan 19 (IANS) Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman has rejected the mercy petitions of three of the five former army officers who were sentenced to death for the killing of the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.
Mohammed Shafiul Alam, secretary to the president, told bdnews24.com: “There is nothing more to do here. The petition has been refused and was sent to the home ministry on Sunday.”

The government told the Supreme Court Tuesday that the execution of all five former army officers who were awarded death sentences has been stayed till the apex court rules on their review petitions.

The court said it would hear the five petitions Jan 24.

Two of the five, Syed Farooq Rahman and Mohiuddin Ahmed, filed their petitions Tuesday, while three others - Bazlul Huda, A.K.M. Mohiuddin Ahmed and Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan - had done so earlier this month.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members were killed in a putsch led by serving and former army officers Aug 15, 1975.

On Nov 19 last year, the apex court confirmed death sentences to a dozen ex-army personnel, including the five who have been detained.

Of the seven others, one died and six are on the run. The government has moved the Interpol and the governments in the US, Canada, Libya and Pakistan to get their custody.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is Mujibur Rahman’s daughter, has ignored a plea by Amnesty International, a US-based human rights watchdog that the death sentences be converted into life imprisonment.

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